Spotlight On… Love for Sale’s Kelly Burke

Love for Sale takes a completely different musical turn – a cabaret-drama featuring the music of Kurt Weill, Cole Porter and their contemporaries. In a run-down cafe in the sordid underworld of pre-war Paris, an itinerant songstress struggles to keep hold of her wits and virtue – but the City of Light has other plans. Offie finalist Kelly Burke brings her new show making its world premiere at Assembly Hall this year, following five-star sell-out Zelda in 2010.

Venue:  Assembly Hall, Baillie Room, Mound Place, EH1 2LU Time:  17:45  Running Time: 75mins Dates: 04 – 29 August. Previews 4-5 August.  Tickets: Previews £7; 2 for 1 8-9, £12; 6-7, 10-11, 15-18, 22-25 & 29 August £11 (£10); 12-14, 19-21, 26-28 August  £12 (£11) Bookings: assemblyfestival.com, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Hall and Assembly Roxy, Assembly George Square and Assembly Checkpoint

Social media: @Love4SaleShow / facebook.com/Love4SaleShow

Love for Sale sounds like a must-see show and I caught up with actress Kelly Burke to find out more.

Tell me about the show and how the rehearsal process has affected the transition from page to stage.

Over the course of about eighteen months, the show has evolved from a one-act cabaret into a cabaret-play.  We started with the songs, and slowly crafted the narrative around them — it’s been a very satisfying process to recontextualise some of the 1930s repertoire (Kurt Weill, Cole Porter) and find a dramatic life for them here. 

What is your favourite moment or favourite line in the production?

There’s a duet towards the end of the show which I really love.  (There’s also a terrifyingly quick costume change which gives me a kind of masochistic pleasure… You should see the dress). 

What do you hope audiences will take away with them from this piece?

Of course, you love it if the audience comes out thinking about their real lives, finding parallels with what the world looks like today — international instability, the uncertainty of economics, the way in which people with too few resources are slowly worn down…

(We’d also like them to re-encounter this wonderful music, which I think is increasingly unknown). 

How does the space lend itself to the production?

The space is quite low-ceilinged and narrow, so you do get the sense of a claustrophobic, underground café.

Have you experienced a fringe festival before? What has your experience been?

I was last at the Fringe ten years ago!  It was only slightly less chaotic then — but both experiences have been energising.  It’s really exciting to see a whole city overrun by theatre. 

Sell the show to me, what would you say to encourage potential audience members to come?

Love for Sale is a 1930s cabaret-play which threads a narrative through the songs of Kurt Weill (and a few of his contemporaries, like Cole Porter).  Basically: American girl goes to Paris to escape the depression, but it doesn’t quite work out like she’d planned.

If we’re selling the show, I’d also say that we have a stunning musical director, it’s worth coming just to hear Joseph Atkins play!

Break a leg, Kelly! Thank you for chatting to me.

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