Welcome to Chrissie Shaw’s website! Chrissie is a performing artist who has worked in Canberra since 1987. She’s performed for many theatre companies, and has produced several independent shows. Here you’ll find out about the shows now in repertoire, and her other activities.
Chrissie has two children's shows in her repertoire, one of which is Gran's Bag by Greg Lissaman, songs by Chrissie. This show has been touring around schools and theatres since 2008 and is still going strong.
Chrissie's latest show is 'BIJOU A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction'. She has received an ACT Critics Circle Award, and the 2013 MEAA Performer of the Year Award for her work on BIJOU. BIJOU is a play written in Cabaret form with beautiful French and German songs from the 1930s back to the 1870s. BIJOU is the story of an aged 'lady of the night' who in 1932 was photographed by Brassai for his book "Paris de Nuit" (Paris by Night). Brassai took three photos of Madame Bijou, but didn't stop to talk to her, to find out more about her. Chrissie wrote a story based on what little was known about BIJOU and filled in the gaps...quite a dramatic tale! The songs help tell the story but also express Bijou's inner emotions. The two German songs in the show were both written by the same composer, but such a dramatic contrast! The play is set in a bar in Paris in 1933, the year after the photographs were taken. The bar pianist is playing a selection of French classics as Bijou enters, ready to earn her keep by reading palms, telling raunchy stories and holding court. She catches sight of one of Brassai's photographs of her, which the bar keeper has hung on the wall. The shock of seeing herself 'as others see her' starts her off on a journey through her life, backwards in time. And what a life! Chrissie plays Bijou and Alan Hicks is the bar pianist.
Alan is a well-known accompanist and voice coach, currently Head of Vocal and Keyboard Performance at the University of Canberra, and vocal coach at the NSW Conservatorium. This is Alan's first theatre role, providing beautiful accompaniment to the songs, singing some of them as well, playing some great French music, and interacting with Bijou as she unravels her story. A highlight is his rendition of a newly minted Symbolist poem, to accompany a piece of interpretive dance as Bijou recalls an episode in her youth, at Le Chat Noir Cabaret in Paris in the 1880s.
'BIJOU A Cabaret of Secrets and Seduction' opened with a sell-out season, has been touring in regional NSW, with funds from generous Pozible supporters. It has had a return season at The Street Theatre in September 2015. Watch out for more touring details! And: we are available for House Concerts!