Cabaret is a ‘loveline’ for Melanie Velissaris, quite literally. The 22-year-old Monash University arts graduate, just finished performing in her self-written show, Loveline- the Cabaret.
The comedy, about three girls unlucky in love who call a telephone helpline out of desperation is something that Velissaris had dreamed of creating upon graduation.
“It’s an idea that me and two friends, Tineke Sibbel and Sophie Weiss came up with whilst we were at uni,” she said to Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE).
“A lot of people can relate to the girl who is unlucky in love and so many chick flicks have been made about this topic, but our show was not totally pessimistic.
“We aimed to bring a lot of humour to it and also portray it from a young person’s point of view.”
The girls performed in a swanky little cabaret space at the Butterfly Club. Although the stage was small, they worked the room well.
Such was their stagecraft the props they used to transform the set from a house, to a church, and even to a toilet was an added extra.
Velissaris played a young woman who sobbed and sung about her misfortunes in love whilst wrapping herself in toilet paper as she drowned her miseries down the imaginary toilet.
Each of the girls had their own love hang-ups – Velissaris as the older sister is single, Sibbel is the ultimate girlfriend doormat, and Weiss as the religious matchmaker whose good deeds only put her in “relationshit.”
The girls seamlessly alternated between characters and between the present and the past.
The most memorable moment of the show was Weiss’ ‘Fat-Pizza’ style impersonation of Sibbel’s character’s ex-boyfriend. “Babe, can you do me a favour? Can you shave my back hair later?”
Whilst Weiss had the most expressive of faces, Velissaris starred with her powerful and sweet voice.
When asked whether the story line had any truth to it, Velissaris laughed and said that it was totally imaginary.
“I’m quite opposite to the character I played who is quite hopeless and needs all the help she can get. As a European family we are quite close knit and I feel supported all the time by my parents.”
Both her parents are also in the creative industry, which Velissaris believes has helped them be more receptive to her theatre ambitions. These include directing and writing, in addition to performing.
She said that she developed a passion for theatre from a young age from being involved in the arts school, Australian Broadway Chorus.
She was also the school drama captain of her secondary school, Sienna College, performed in several school productions, and attended voice and dancing lessons for most of her secondary years.
Velissaris will travel to Greece next month, where she is excited about seeing the outdoor performances at the Greek amphitheatres. London is her next stop, where she hopes to break into the industry.
“I believe that you should pursue something you love- why not try my luck at it whilst I’m young?”