Q&A/The Festival Sessions/Cabaret/Music/Musical Theatre

A wild ride through past bangers

7 January 2021

There’s nothing like that moment when you hear a banger that you’d almost forgotten about. It’s that joyous recognition that’s at the heart of Lucinda Panties’ Super Funtimes Singalong Jamboree Part 2.

In Seesaw’s first Fringe Sessions Q&A for 2021, performing and visual artist Sylvia Sippl takes us behind the scenes of her alter ego, Lucinda Panties and her latest Fringe World show.

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Seesaw: Sylvia, tell us a bit about yourself and your work…
Sylvia Sippl:
I’m a classically trained musician and visual artist who stumbled upon Perth’s cabaret and neo-burlesque scene just over 10 years ago. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me and it wasn’t long until I was hosting burlesque and cabaret shows as Lucinda Panties, and managing local troupe Lady Velvet Cabaret.

A woman in a white, very spangly dress holds her hands up like claws. she is standing perpendicular to the camera but her head is turned to the camera. Her hair is in a bouffant and is brunette with a huge blonde streak at the front. Her nails are painited scarlet.
Sylvia Sippl as Lucinda Panties. Photo: Wild Kat Photography

I’ve always been comfortable onstage, and hosting shows was a great opportunity for me to be my favourite things: funny, stupid, and the centre of attention. If you’ve ever been to a Lady Velvet Cabaret show, you’ll know I get up to all sorts onstage between the burlesque acts – stealing food from plates, interviewing an elbow patch, interpretive ribbon dancing, being covered in Christmas wrapping paper onstage, primal screaming, spraying whipped cream down the throats of guests… we have a time.

S: Your alterego is Lucinda Panties – how did she come into existence?
Over the years I’ve produced a few one woman shows under my real name that incorporated aspects of my “day” jobs, including a show about my arts education (I Owe My Parents $65,000), and an art appreciation lecture/show (An Absolute Idiot’s Guide to Art). I always kept Lucinda Panties, burlesque emcee extraordinaire, separate from my solo shows, and her schtick was often as the “talentless” one, there to hype up the dancers and make people laugh between acts. I felt obliged to “pick a lane” and stick to a genre with each production I presented.

Finally in 2020, after nearly a decade of being told by audiences that she deserved her own show, Lucinda broke out on her own for a one-night-only spot on a Friday down at Sunset Veranda… and took out a weekly Cabaret award!

S: Talk us through your Fringe World 2021 show Lucinda Panties’ Super Funtimes Singalong Jamboree Part 2
The idea behind Lucinda Panties’ Super Funtimes Singalong Jamboree is simple: I love making people laugh, and I love music. I love bad music almost as much as I love good music, and I love that moment of simultaneous recognition and reminiscing that comes with hearing a banger from your past that you’d almost forgotten all about.

In 2021 I’m joined onstage by an incredible bunch of musos: Cece Desist, Malaika Moon, Verity Brean, and Emma Hyam. Together we sing some of our favourite songs, experiment with odd instrumentation, and mix in some fun and games.

The Jamboree has the wild and bawdy atmosphere of a burlesque or cabaret show, without the nudity (if all goes to plan). It has the sing-and-play-along vibe of a jam session, without the need to have musical friends to jam with. It’s written to be fun and entertaining, whether you want to get involved musically or not.

A group of five women stand on stage. Some are in ball dresses, others in street clothes - it looks like they are audience members who have been invited on stage. Everyone looks excited.
Onstage with Lucinda Panties and friends. Photo: Wild Kat Photography

S: What makes Lucinda Panties’ Super Funtimes Singalong Jamboree different to all the others on offer at Fringe?
How many other shows in this program encourage guests to bring along a tuba and lay down a phat bassline?

Every night will be a new and exciting adventure – will you be seated next to a musical genius? An aggressively competitive karaoke fan? Maybe nobody will bring instruments and the whole crowd will be taught to beatbox instead… who knows? Not me, that’s for sure!

One thing I do know is how wonderful it feels to just hang out with your friends, laugh, and make music together – even if you’re just sitting back and listening to the jam. If you’ve yet to experience this in your life, come and let us show you what it’s like, you might just get hooked on the feeling.

S: In these strange times no interview is complete without some mention of the impact of COVID-19, but to keep it upbeat, did you have a pandemic silver lining?
I worked from home teaching music and drama via Zoom, and spent a lot of lockdown learning new songs and creating the new Jamboree set list for 2021.

A few months later I got TikTok and realised that “youths” had apparently discovered half my proposed set list. I was a little bummed at first, but I guess now my target audience has just broadened – if you’ve only heard the first 15 seconds of “Dreams”, just wait til you hear the rest of it!

S: What is your favourite part of the playground?
It used to be those wombats on springs, but then I tried to use one as an overweight adult woman…

Lucinda Panties’ Super Funtimes Singalong Jamboree Part 2 plays Chemistry at Girls School 15-18 January as part of Fringe World 2021.

Pictured top is Sylvia Sippl as Lucinda Panties. Photo: Wild Kat Photography

“The Fringe Sessions” is an annual series of Q&A interviews with artists who will be appearing at Fringe World. Stay tuned for more!

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Author —
Nina Levy

Nina Levy has worked as an arts writer and critic since 2007. She co-founded Seesaw and has been co-editing the platform since it went live in August 2017. As a freelancer she has written extensively for The West Australian and Dance Australia magazine, co-editing the latter from 2016 to 2019. Nina loves the swings because they take her closer to the sky.

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