Natasha Veselinovic and Chloe Taylor at Metro Arts in Lesbian Love Stories Cabaret

The Fame Reporter interviewed musical theatre superstars Natasha Veselinovic and Chloe Taylor, founders of the cabaret show ‘Lesbian Love Stories’ playing at Metro Arts on 23 July 2021.

Stories will be shared, drinks may be spilt, and we promise not to tell anyone how you smudged your lipstick…

Lesbian Love Stories is a concert-style cabaret performed by three local lesbians and one rockin’ band. Featuring anonymous true tales of love from across the globe, this heart-warming performance is delivered through song and speech by powerhouse women with vocals to match.

Don’t miss this new honest and fun show, with an awkward moment (or three) thrown in for good measure.

We talked to Natasha and Chloe about the inspiration behind LLS, how they chose different love stories to celebrate, their love for performing in Queensland and more.

What sparked your interest in performing initially?
Natasha: I always secretly loved singing, but my best friend was THE singer of the school when we were 7 years old, so I didn’t feel like I could really pursue lessons or join a choir until I was a bit older… which is pretty funny when I think about that now. We did a musical called, The Man of Steel in grade 8 and I got to play the villain (villains are still my favourite roles to play), and I was officially hooked.

Chloe: My mum put me into dance lessons when I was 3 years old and I remember going to the theatre to see shows with her as well from a young age. I was exposed to the world of performing very early on and haven’t looked back since.

What was the inspiration behind forming ‘The Local Lesbians’ and consequently the show ‘Lesbian Love Stories’?

N: The show actually came first! Initially, LLS was meant to be a one off gig that was performed at RPAC, as a way of getting up and performing again. Chloe and I lived in the UK for a couple of years, and came back just as COVID was kicking off, so needed a way to reintroduce ourselves to the Brisbane industry.

We created The Local Lesbians as a way to cohost our Facebook event with RPAC, and it kind of exploded a little with messages from members of the Queer community, thanking us for writing a piece of theatre that was so relatable…which made us realise we’d stumbled upon something that was much bigger than us.

C: Lesbian Love Stories has really become a platform for free speech.

The show consists of anonymous true stories from women all over the globe, and represents what we like to call the ‘every day lesbian’. The girl that just happens to like girls and isn’t mad or sexy about it.

For you what is the most exciting aspect of returning to the theatre after the hiatus last year?
N: It sounds really naff, but the best thing has been just being able to DO the thing! Performing is so much more than a job (although getting paid is most definitely important), it’s quite a big part of who I am. I can’t speak for every artist out there, but I feel like we’re a bit of a funny breed in that we’re not truly happy and content unless we’re putting our skills, and creativity to use. Knowing that there is at least one performance to look forward to every now and then really helps. Also, how good is being in a rehearsal room? Dream.

C: Couldn’t agree with you more Tash. Just being able to do the thing and having a reason to rehearse and perform something again is extremely exciting.

How did attending the Queensland Conservatorium inform your creativity to assist with the creation of the show?
C: We were exposed to quite a wide variety of musical styles throughout our time at the Con, which meant that we had a pretty decent catalogue to choose from, when we were deciding what might fit our show. Every piece of training was ground first and foremost in storytelling, which came in quite handy when the time came to create our own.

How did you go about choosing different love stories to highlight and celebrate on stage?
N: It was really important for us to try and reflect as many people in the lesbian community as we could, so have done our best to provide a lot of variety throughout the show.

Chloe and I have found that – for the most part – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of lesbian content on stage that represents or explores our own experiences, so saw LLS as an opportunity to perhaps bridge that gap a little.

Some of the stories we’ve chosen talk about the struggles that come with being gay, but there’s also a lot of joy and every day life stuff in there, that I think a lot of people forget about.

What is your favourite moment and the most challenging moment in the show?  
N: I absolutely looooooooooove singing our cover of ‘She’, by the incredible Dodie. What a woman. What a song. Defo my favourite moment.

The most challenging moment for me is one of the prose pieces in the show… it’s written by a woman who is unable to live her life openly, and it breaks my heart a little every time I say it.

C: My favourite part is singing the last words “Yes, we are gay” and having a crowd of people joyously accept and applaud that. Most challenging is performing our arrangement of the song ‘3’ by Britney Spears, because I have to story-tell, sing in 3-part harmony and play an instrument all at the same time. The arrangement is incredible but not easy, folks.

Do you have a role in any musical or play that you are dying to play?
N: Literally so many – how long have you got? Haha! I’d take a Sondheim musical any day… or a Disney villain role… like… any of them. Or Nancy in Oliver would be pretty cool.

C: Love me some gritty roles. Wouldn’t say no to Kate from Lippa’s Wild Party, or basically any role from Moulin Rouge.

Please describe the music in the show?
C: It’s a real mixed bag! We’ve got a bit of Britney, Celine Dion (believe it or not), Pat Benatar, Lily Allen, Blondie, and of course a cheeky bit of musical theatre.

What has it been like working, rehearsing, and collaborating with your fellow performers again and what do each of them bring to the show?
N: Chloe and I are in a relationship, so working with her has been a lot of fun. We haven’t been in anything together for a fair while, and putting together a show that is so closely tied to our own lives has been really freeing. Chloe is an incredibly bright personality, who has no idea of how utterly hilarious she is both in life and on stage, which perfectly balances my dry as dry can be sense of humour!

C: She might have a dry sense of humour but she’s also extremely cheeky and unaware of how likeable she is. Also, her voice, wow, this woman has the most incredible gift and I’m jealous of what she can do everyday. As she already mentioned it has been so special to work with one another on this project with the subject matter being so close to our hearts.

When we were first writing the show, we approached our beautiful mate Ruby Clark to be part of it, who is the only person that we know in the whole world who can get away with absolutely anything.

N: She’s an utter force to be reckoned with, but had to be recast because she’s off being fabulous overseas on another performance contract. After 2 rounds of auditions, we cast Jahla Black, who is a little legend! The poor woman was only given a week and a half to learn the show, and let me tell you – she’s an absolute gun.

Jahla is a recent Queensland Con graduate, and brings her own style, edge and energy to the show, which has been lovely to watch.

What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
N: KATE WINSLET (what a dream), Adele, and Celine Dion, because you know she’d be the best time. Now that I’ve said those, I’m second guessing myself…3 is hard

C: Tina Fey, Robin Williams, and Sutton Foster…oh, and of course RuPaul! Sorry, I’m having 4.

N: Cheat!

What do you love about performing in Queensland in particular?
C: Although we were out of the country for a fair bit, our roots have been in Brisbane for quite a while, so we have a real sense of community. People have watched us grow both as performers and as a couple, and the support has been super lovely.

What can audiences expect when they come and see ‘Lesbian Love Stories’?
Chloe: To laugh a lot! The show is really fun and silly, but also heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time – just like any love story.

Natasha: It’s a show about queer women, told by queer women, which makes it unique in itself. There’s also some pretty decent singing in there every now and then!

Fame Reporter Word Play

Spirit Animal

N: Hedgehog!
C: Unicorn

Bucket list
N: Own a theatre space
C: Ditto. With her.

N: Too hot!
Chloe: Sweaty

Favourite mantra when you are down
N: Don’t be jealous, find your own
C: Tomorrow is a new day

Any secret
N: Iceskating
C: I can make a horse noise!

Favourite LLS song
N: She
C: Safe & Sound

Savoury or Sweet
N: Cheese
C: Sweet

Dressing Room necessity
N: Snacks
C: Honey

Can’t live without
N: My eyebrow pencil (Ginger troubles)
C: Ice cream

N: When?
C: Yes please

QLD Conservatorium
N: Family
C: Theatre blacks

Favourite Artist
N: Adele
C: Celine Dion

Place you want to travel to
N: London
C: Everywhere…but first stop, London

Future dream

N: Edinburgh Fringe
C: Interstate tour

TV Show Binge
N: Will & Grace
C: The Office

Finally, favourite thing about performing
N: Getting my feels out
C: Being able to express myself

Thank-you Natasha and Chloe for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for the show.

Lesbian Love Stories
Metro Arts
23 July

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All photos – Supplied