Al­ter egos come in from the Fringe

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Cabaret - Tanya MacNaughton

AF­TER win­ning the Fringe World 2014 cabaret award for his first show Des­per­ate­lyYoun­gatHeart, op­er­atic bari­tone Robert Hof­mann de­cided he would make a fol­low-up show while he still had the cre­ative en­ergy.

It Ain’t Vot You Do It’s Ze Vay Zat You Do It! gives fur­ther life to three al­ter egos from his first pro­duc­tion: Hel­mut Wun­der­licher, Su­san Hig­gins and Dr Kay Overit.

“They all take on slightly new an­gles and re­veal dif­fer­ent parts of them­selves,” Hof­mann said.

“It was about tak­ing the ideas, grow­ing them and push­ing them a bit fur­ther be­cause I think if you make a sec­ond show, it needs to push the bound­aries more.”

Ger­man-speak­ing Wun­der­licher has grad­u­ated from be­ing a re­la­tion­ship coun­sel­lor to singing psy­chol­o­gist, deeply en­trenched in Freudian and Jun­gian the­ory.

Pas­sive ag­gres­sive Chris­tian singer Hig­gins has started the Su­san Hig­gins In­sti­tute of Trans­for­ma­tive Ex­er­cise, com­bin­ing dif­fer­ent move­ment ther­a­pies with songs of praise.

Mean­while, the once-busi­nes­sat­tired singing aca­demic Overit is look­ing to a ca­reer as a night­club singer.

Hof­mann said his Ger­man her­itage had helped with the char­ac­ter Wun­der­licher, in­clud­ing sourc­ing his leather leder­ho­sen and be­ing able to make fun with­out of­fence.

Hav­ing trained at UWA School of Mu­sic and Syd­ney Con­ser­va­to­rium, Hof­mann’s ca­reer has in­cluded per­for­mances with opera duo Di­va­li­cious and WA Opera, in­clud­ing the role of Koko in TheMikado.

He has taught WA Opera’s ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram in schools for the past five years, along with teach­ing at Hale School, Christ Church Gram­mar School and WAAPA.

“My show is re­ally 15 year­splus so I don’t advertise it heav­ily with most of my stu­dents,” Hof­mann said. “I just hope au­di­ences en­joy the fun and sense of par­ody that is through­out the show on many lev­els.

“Ev­ery­one finds it in­ter­est­ing when a 6ft 6-inch guy dresses in se­quins and four-inch heels.”


Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson

Robert Hof­mann as his comic al­ter ego Hel­mut Wun­der­licher.

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