Mel’s history in the performing arts begins in 1984, when she wrote, directed and starred in a class-conflict pantomime entitled The Dairymaids, The Queen and the Duchess. After lunchtime was over, her cast refused to re-enact the play for the assembled Grade One students. This was when Mel first realised the trials of independent theatre.
Twenty years later, Mel made her Melbourne Fringe Festival debut with a comic cabaret show in the character of an upwardly mobile human resources consultant-turned rap superstar, The Incredible Melk. Directed by Linda Catalano and with a score co-written by Chris Wenn, The Incredible Melk’s Booty Pageant was highly commended in the 2004 Fringe Awards. Mel took the show to the 2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival – click here to read Helen Razer’s review.
Mel studied jazz piano and composition and spent her teenage years immersed in a capella choirs – ranging from sacred music and madrigals to world music, gospel and pop. She wanted to start a choir long before Glee made it cool. She’s temporarily shelved, but not forgotten, another planned project celebrating independent musical theatre, improv and participatory dance – the Melbourne International Jazz Hands Festival.