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Chrissie Shaw: News

Gran's Bag back on the boards - October 2, 2017

Gran's Bag is visiting Victoria this month, October 5 at Lakes Entrance (Mechanics Institute Hall at 11am) and October 6 at the Forge Theatre Bairnsdale again at 11am. Later in the month there are two schools shows in Canberra, watch for the dates!

Bijou visits the Court House Theatre in Melbourne! - June 9, 2016

Bijou - A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction will have a short season at La Mama's wonderful Court House Theatre in Melbourne. Opening night is Wednesday June 15th at 6.30. The show plays Thursday to Saturday at 7.30 and then on Sunday 19th June at 4.00pm. Melbourne lovers of musical theatre and cabaret...and Francophiles, don't miss the show! Just 5 performances. Bookings: Phone: (03) 9347 6142 or

On July 16th Bijou has just one night at the lovely Cooma Little Theatre, 7.30 start. Come and warm up in the cosy Parisian cafe atmosphere and enjoy a night of music and saucy story! Bookings: or tickets at the Cooma Visitor Centre.

But there's more! At the Depot Theatre, Marrickville, Bijou will have a two-week season, August 17 to 27. Shows are at 8.00pm except for Sunday August 21 when the show's at 5pm. No show Monday Aug 22 and Tues Aug 23. Bookings:

Later in the year, Bijou has been invited back to Melbourne to do some shows at the Butterfly Club. Watch this space!!! It'll be in November and will be a shorter version of the show, for a cabaret audience and venue!

BIJOU is on in the Famous Spiegeltent March 8 2016, at 6.30pm. - January 8, 2016

The year is starting for BIJOU with a performance in the Famous Spiegeltent as part of the 2016 Famous Spiegeltent Canberra season.

The show is on Tuesday March 8th at 6.30, a good time for the mature cognoscenti, and also for the younger working punters who love a good mini-musical cabaret! 

Bookings: or 02 6275 2700

Come and celebrate, and support local Canberra professional theatre/music artists!

BIJOU RETURNS to the Street Theatre, Canberra in September! - August 15, 2015

BIJOU - A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION is a cabaret-theatre show, of ribald tales, French and German songs and the unraveling of a life story starring actor Chrissie Shaw and piano man Alan Hicks.

It returns to The Street Theatre by popular demand, after a sell-out Premiere and  extensive touring in NSW.


VENUE: Street 2, The Street Theatre , Childers Street ACTON.

SEASON: September 16 to September 20, 6 shows only. Wed 16 –Sat 19 @ 7.30pm. 

  Sat 19 @ 2pm, Sun 20 @ 4pm.

TICKETS: Standard: $35              Concession: $25               Group 4+: $30

BOOKINGS:  02 6247 1223 or



In a Parisian café bar in 1932 we meet Bijou. She is one of the night people, captured in Brassai’s revealing photographs of depression-era Paris. Frayed at the edges, they recall the glory days of the Belle Epoque, the mad excitement of the 1920s, as they drink, sing and scratch for survival while the world moves inexorably towards another world war.

Bijou, once queen of the Demi-Monde roves from bar to bar, holding mad court in her tattered finery, draped in fake jewellery. Over many glasses of wine, she reads palms, tells and sells saucy stories, sings snatches of songs and relives the adventures of her long-lost youth. But tonight she starts to unravel. Past, present, truth and lies collide in a bizarre confusion of tragi-comedy, cabaret and bawdy revelations. The bar pianist plays Satie, Weill, Hollander, Bruant and more, triggering memories of Bijou’s haphazard past. Music from operetta, romance; political anthems, nursery rhymes, and dance from the waltz and Charleston to exotic Eastern interpretation form the framework of the night’s experience.

This sumptuous cabaret-style entertainment, paints a picture of a colourful life, giving a rare glimpse into the private and very sensual world of an ageing woman in Paris.


Bijou is an original work from Canberra-based performing artist, writer and producer Chrissie Shaw. Since 1991, Chrissie has produced seven original plays, in collaboration with other producers and artists, all initially funded by artsACT (the ACT Government’s arts funding program). They include About Face, Footprints on the Wind, Sweeter Fern – That’s Red!, Drumming on Water, The Keeper, Gran’s Bag, Flotsam and Jetsam and now, Bijou.

 In Bijou, Chrissie collaborates with a whole host of local and national talent including Susan Pilbeam in the director's chair, pianist Alan Hicks, designers Gillian Schwab, Imogen Keen and Victoria Worley, with Liz Lea as choreographer.  Together they have fashioned a cabaret-style romp through the colourful life and times of Bijou.

Alan Hicks is one of Australia's foremost vocal coaches and accompanists. An innovative music educator, he is currently Head of Vocal and Keyboard Performance at the University of Canberra, Music Director of the UC Chorale, and vocal coach in the Opera Unit at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Alan is a graduate of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music and of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK.

Susan Pilbeam has worked extensively in the development of new works, in Australia and overseas. In Melbourne she has premiered works at La Mama, Theatreworks, Gasworks, The Storeroom and Chapel off Chapel. She has also undertaken post-graduate research in Education and Performing Arts, developing curricula and lecturing at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Ballarat Arts Academy and Victoria University. Recent touring works include The Mark Twain You Don’t Know and Ada Cambridge.

Bijou was developed through The Street Theatre’s Hive and Made In Canberra programs. Bijou’s premiere season was supported by the ACT Government’s Arts Funding program. Tours were sponsored by ArtsNSW, Pozible supporters and private donations.

POZIBLE - April 19, 2015

Thanks to Pozible team and to all the wonderful people who have pledged, to help BIJOU get on the road!!

BIJOU - A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION is on tour in May 2015 - April 19, 2015

BIJOU - A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION is on tour in Northern NSW in May 2015. With pianist Alan Hicks, and Technician/Stage Manager Stephen Crossley I'll be travelling to seven towns, performing eight shows from May 14 to May 23. Look at CALENDAR for tour details!! Tell any of your friends who live in these areas!!!!

Awards for BIJOU - February 22, 2014

Yes, Chrissie (me) won two awards for BIJOU: the ACT MEAA Green Room AWard for 2013, and a 2013 ACT Critics Circle Award. Thank you for these, they help with the CV! And a lovely feeling to know that people like my shows. Of course they're not just MY shows, they belong to all the amazing artists who work with me to create this independent work. Greg Lissaman, Catherine Roach, Imogen Keen, Hilary Talbot, Susan Pilbeam, the wonderful Alan Hicks, Peter Matheson the Dramaturg, Gillian Schwab, Victoria Worley and Liz Lea with her deadpan choeography...very funny! How to get an ol' lady to look as if she's 20 and getting her rocks off on stage...that's Liz working with me! And thanks to The Street Theatre for supporting BIJOU in its sell-out season.

Off to New Zealand - February 22, 2014

How wonderful is that! I idly pressed the button on an entry of my shows to the Performing Arts Network of New Zealand, to go in their Sound Market...and I got enough votes to go there and pitch BIJOU and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM. Thank you New Zealand presenters. My fares and hotel are paid for by the Australia Council and I'm one of two Aussies going. THank you Australia Council!
Now, I just gotta convince them to have me tour in New Zealand next year!

BUT, the same button on the Australian Equivalent of the network, didn't rate me more than three votes. Come on Australia! BIJOU is a great show and needs to travel all over!

Wish me luck in New Zealand, and GO BIJOU and FLOTSAM!!

BIJOU A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction - October 15, 2013

My latest show, BIJOU A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction has had a triumphant Premiere season in Canberra at The Street Theatre, August 29 to September 8, 2013.

The show sold out very quickly! I had some very upset people tell me that they'd missed out on seeing the show. I can only hope for a return season next year! Meanwhile I'm getting ready to tour the show around Australia to start off with!

Reviews for BIJOU were all extremely excellent, bar one. One reviewer however, said there was nothing new about the show, no real message, and then proceeded to contradict himself in the next sentence by describing just what the show was about!

Lots of people have contacted me, or stopped me at events etc to say how much they loved the show, and I have a collection of wonderful audience testimonials.

The show was over 4 years in the making, and I've had the opportunity to work with some wonderful artists to get it all together. Three pianists, Peter J Casey, Raphael Wong, and for the premiere season, the wonderful Alan Hicks, have all ensured that the music is of the highest quality. Director and Dramaturg Susan Pilbeam has been a delight to work with, so organised she is, that we had 6 dress rehearsals before the opening night. The Street Theatre's Hive Program allowed me to work over 2 years with Dramaturg Peter Matheson, who helped me wrangle the show into its current form. Very challenging but very clever and in the end the show has been a great success. I can almost call myself a writer now...with a lot of help. Costumes were designed and made by Victoria Worley. They have received so many words of praise, and looked so fabulous! The venue, Street 2, was 'dressed' to look like a Parisian Cafe, with a difference. Designed by Imogen Keen, the set, really the whole venue, was a magical place to enter...and the lighting by Gillian Schwab was a very important part of that magic.

Two weeks after the season closed, Alan and I performed an excerpt from the show for a fundraiser at Tilley's Devine Cafe in Canberra, to raise money for ACT AIDS Action Council. The night raised $6000.00. During my season of the show Bijou, the character went around the audience rattling a tip jar...'for the poor musician'...but in fact that money also went to the AIDS Action Council, just $200.

So, look out for BIJOU when it starts touring!

Lawrie and Shirley : Critics' Circle Award - November 27, 2012

Well! I got a phone message to say I HAD to be at the ACT Critics' Circle Awards night at Canberra Museum and Art Gallery on November 12th 2013. Why? I wondered what the reason was, but found out when I was called up to receive a Critics' Circle Award for the work I did in Lawrie and Shirley. It had all happened in 2011 but the awards covered nearly 2 years of work by Canberra artists.

It was an honour to receive this award as it was so unexpected. I had worked very hard on Lawrie and Shirley, which was a big challenge, being a solo acting job for me. I was so glad though to be not alone on that stage! The presence of Ewan Foster with his viola and violin, was a great comfort to me as I journeyed through 90 minutes of text...and expended a great deal of energy to hold the role together; a sort of Margaret Pomeranz character on steroids! So thanks from me to the ACT Critics' Circle for the award!

What's Chrissie up to now? - November 5, 2012

Chrissie continues to perform shows for children. In 2012 she has performed in Pearl Verses the World, by Sally Murphy, for Jigsaw Theatre Company at the Canberra Theatre Centre, and also Rolling Home for Greg Lissaman, at the Canberra Theatre Centre and at Riverside Theatres Parramatta. In 2013, Chrissie will do Gran's Bag in January for the Monkey Baa Theatre Company, at their new venue, the Darling Quarter Theatre in Darling Harbour. In May she will take Gran's Bag to the Riverside Theatres Parramatta for a second season of that show in that venue. That's a good start to the year. Chrissie was delighted to hear that her application for funding to do a French cabaret-style show "Bijou" was successful. This will Premiere at The Street Theatre, Canberra, in September 2013. This is not a kids' show!!!
In 2011 Chrissie was the sole actor in 'Lawrie and Shirley", an adaptation of a verse novel by Geoff Page. Critics were very favourable and audiences loved the show. On stage Chrissie was joined by a lovely violinist Ewan Foster...thank heaven! It was a full-on journey through that play and the musician was like a security blanket! The music was lovely, and the story was quirky with a touch of tragedy, tempered by a lot of humour. Wish it could have toured.

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