Be our guest! We love the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas concept and want it to go far and wide. We are eternally grateful to anyone who can help us do this.
So that an audience knows what it’s getting when it see the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas brand, and so you can avoid the initial pain that we went through, we would ask that you:
- Always use Susan Morrison – or an entertainer originally prepared by Susan Morrison – as your MC/compere chair;
- Always train/coach your performers, no matter how experienced they are. Susan Morrison provides this training at present. (We are interested in ‘training the trainer’, which would mean you could run training without Susan in future);
- Always allow at least 50% of the show duration for audience discussion, Q&A and interaction – there’ll be no lectures here;
- Never, ever, ever use PowerPoint, slides, Prezi, videos or any other electronic visual device. Kills the mood and always goes wrong. Anyway, you can get that, done with all the bells and whistles, at a TED talk;
- Always be entertaining and dangerous: we value serious, sombre dialogue as much as the next public engagement practitioner, but the Cabaret is not the place for it;
- Always be respectful: disagreeing is fantastic; robust discussions are amazing (and very entertaining); but never get personal, and especially never imply that someone is somehow lesser than you because they believe something that you might find ridiculous. Anyone who gets up to this business will be ejected by Susan faster than a belligerent hen party at The Stand at 11.30pm on a Friday night;
- Always pay your people fairly: freelance entertainment professionals and fabby interns can’t pay their mortgage or shop on ASOS with thin air. We can advise you on who will need paying and how you might raise funds for this (e.g. ticket sales)
If you’re still up for it after reading the above shopping list, please get in touch with Fiona Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org; Cabaret academic-herder), Susan Morrison (email@example.com; Cabaret MC extraordinaire) or Stephen Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org; Cabaret producer). Meanwhile, to get some inspiration, why not check out:
P.S. We don’t actually have the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas name and concept copyrighted, not least because other people have called other types of shows this name. But if you want to present your show as part of this Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, please do bear in mind the above.