On the Couch with Dolly Diamond

Dolly Diamond AAR On the CouchWho is Dolly Diamond?
I’m just your average Queen of Cabaret trying to make a name for herself in the only way she knows how… flamboyantly. After 15 years of performing in Australia I felt like I had to put on a show like no other, so it felt right to book the Athenaeum Theatre for the night. I’m working alongside 2 brass bands, an A cappella group and a Choir, so it’s certainly going to be an event.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’ve always been in show business ever since I played the title role of Annie in the musical Annie. When I sang The sun’ll come out tomorrow – you knew it bloody would. I think if I hadn’t been on the stage, I might’ve fancied being an airline pilot. They always waft through the airport like they own the place and you’d get great lounge access.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m always inspired by people who enjoy life, it’s what drives me. My friends inspire me and hopefully I do the same to them. I had great parents, they inspired me. I quote my Mother on stage quite a lot. “Never let the bastards get you down”, “If you touch my drink I’ll kill you”… These questions?!? I feel like I’m a contestant on Miss Universe!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think we all need to make a difference in the world. I was quite passionately engaged with Marriage Equality, not because of any desire to marry but for equality for those that do. We must have an equal playing field and that balance needs to be checked all the time, it’s so hard to trust most politicians.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My ideal holiday is with a great group of friends, I’m quite active when I go away, biking, long walk etc I had a fabulous time in Hawaii late last year, but Thailand is an ideal place to go… and it’s cheap too!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I take visiting friends to shows mainly… I’m quite lucky to be invited to a lot of shows and as Artistic Director for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, I see a lot of Cabaret. My great chum Rose Garden is here from London all of this month and I’ve either got her watching or performing in Cabaret shows.

What are you currently reading?
I’m not a big reader, I find it hard to sit still long enough. I loved all the Armistead Maupin books, I hear he’s got a new one out, so should get that. I also love David Sedaris, so funny.

What are you currently listening to?
I pick the music I love and I play it to death… I’ve been listening to Anita Baker for the last 25-30 years… She’s incredible. I do love the ladies: Adele, Toni Braxton, Tina Arena, Aretha…

Happiness is?
Happiness is being surrounded by great friends. It’s also an audience loving what you do, a feeling of contentment when you hear applause or laughter. I do love to make people laugh..

What does the future hold for you?
I’m looking to work a little more around Australia this year and I’m also hoping to expand on my UK work. It’s tough trying to make a name for yourself in different parts of the world, but it’s also fun and I love a challenge.

This year Dolly celebrates 15 years of performing in Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival, presenting 2 special concerts at The Athenaeum Theatre on Saturday 3 February – 3.00pm & 8.00pm. For more information, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Image: Dolly Diamond (supplied)