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We are a not-for-profit theatre collective, exploring themes of mental health through the art forms of cabaret and burlesque.
We are a not-for-profit theatre collective, exploring themes of mental health through the art forms of cabaret and burlesque.
49 backers pledged £971 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Invisible Cabaret: a Variety Show about Mental Health

£971

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Invisible Cabaret: Why We're Here

Invisible Cabaret is a collective devoted to exploring themes of mental health through the art forms of cabaret and burlesque. The motivation behind the project is to make invisible struggles visible.

We thought long and hard about whether to pursue this avenue of funding. In the medium- to long-term, we intend to apply for proper grant funding so that we can take our message of ‘stripping away stigma’ to a wider audience. This would then allow us to put on shows, the proceeds of which would be donated to mental health charities. However, in the short-term, we need to have something to show funders that the appetite is there for our project. Hence, Kickstarter.

We have our first ‘run’ booked for 9th - 11th January 2018 at the King’s Head Private Members’ Club in Shoreditch. In format, it will be a variety show, and content will be exclusively related to mental health.

Who are we?

The group was founded by two Cambridge University graduates, Rosalind Peters and Rochelle Thomas, who met on the Musical Theatre scene at university. Having both personally struggled with mental health issues, earlier this year Peters and Thomas joined forces to form Invisible Cabaret.

The team now boasts a core troupe of 10 female performers who are skilled in a wide variety of disciplines, from tap dancing to songwriting, from ukulele to classical burlesque performance. We settled on ‘Cabaret’ as our descriptor because we felt that encompassed the wide variety of skills showcased, but also set expectations of song, dance and comedy. It also advises the audience that our show is not pure burlesque (although both the form and the tradition are highly significant to the project). Numbers currently projected to be included in the show cover themes of depression, self-care, CBT, social anxiety, and more.

You can find more about this, including photos and bios of the team, at www.invisiblecabaret.org.

Why Cabaret?

We appreciate that ‘cabaret’, ‘burlesque’ and ‘mental health' may sound like an odd mix. We hope that is in part why it may capture people’s imaginations. Our aim is to break down some of the boundaries and stigma surrounding mental health by exploring them in boundary-breaking, stigma-busting art forms. By its very nature as an art form, burlesque is fun, cheeky and lighthearted; a useful approach when treating difficult subjects (though, naturally, this must be applied sensitively). It is in our favour that neoburlesque has been enjoying a wide resurgence over the last few years. We hope to ride that wave and bring expressing concepts of mental health to a much wider audience as a result. We are hoping that by encouraging the audience to laugh they will give themselves permission to think and talk about these issues long after the show has ended.

Why Invisible?

Please note this does not mean we desire to make these invisible struggles pretty. As expounded in our mission statement, we are firmly against glamourising or romanticising mental illness. The name ‘Invisible Cabaret’ was chosen because we are devoted to showing the ‘invisible’ side of mental health struggles; and, in our appearance-obsessed society, the invisible is often that which we deem not ‘attractive’ enough to show. Though we will be exploring the darker side of these issues, we very much intend for audiences to feel uplifted and empowered by the show.

Why Kickstarter?

If we may speak boldly: based on myriad factors (the unanimous response to the concept so far, the excellent standard of our performers and the passionate momentum the project continues to generate), we have high hopes that our initial three-night weekday run will expand to be featured at other venues, and could develop into a regular occurrence. However, in order to be taken seriously for future bookings, we need a portfolio strong enough to make us a great bet for future bookers, venues and funders. Without this show, and without breaking even, we will have no choice but to retire our message and medium for the foreseeable future.

Our aim is to raise enough money to cover extra venue and equipment costs, marketing costs (most of which will be internally created and broadcast exclusively online), and hopefully some expenses. We are already working on a shoestring and asking our performers to contribute more than we would ideally like. If we would offer them some kind of payment, that would be the absolute cherry on top.

We are extremely mindful of the value of your money, and that it could be going towards a lot of different things. It is a saddening truth that the arts is a difficult business if you're not Ziegfeld-rich right now. We know the appetite to learn, express, laugh and be free is out there. We just need to get our show to the people. So if you are at all passionate about mental health and/or the arts, we would be over the moon if you would consider flicking an e-coin or two our way.

Yours gratefully and glitterfully,

Ferrero Rochelle, Fanny Storey, and the rest of Invisible Cabaret xxx

Risks and challenges

We have already overcome some major challenges in terms of venue hire and filling some of our production roles by working on a shoestring, personally funding, and calling in favours with generous friends who believe in our cause of propagating mental health advocacy and awareness.

Our main risks now fall on our heads; namely, if we have worked incredibly hard and entirely out of pocket to put on a brilliant show for an invisible (because they're non-existent) audience. Our venue is sorted, our team is in place... At the end of the day, we are putting on this project because we are passionate about expressing our various relationships to the ideas surrounding mental health. We truly believe this message could go further. For all your support, financial and otherwise, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts xxx

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 1.26

    The Nellie (AKA THANK YOU)

    Named after Nellie Farren, who was one of the leading ladies in Victoria burlesque and music hall (in which Invisible Cabaret derives some of its inspiration). Just like Nellie paved the way for modern-day burlesque, YOU paved the way for US!
    ***

    Anything you have given will help us raise awareness of mental health in our own kooky way! We are so grateful and will send you news, teasers and project updates. HUGE GLITTERY KISSES FOR YOU.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    The Sally (AKA Official Patron Status)

    Sally Rand; now we're putting some heat under that pot! (The metaphorical pot. Of burlesque.)
    ***

    - Official status as an Invisible Cabaret patron!
    - Thanks on website and social media.
    Let it be known on record that you support mental health advocacy AND the arts AND are an all-round good egg.
    ...Of course, if you prefer not to be mentioned, that's A-OK too, just let us know. It will be our little secret ;)

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    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    The Gypsy Rose

    When people think of 'burlesque', they often first think of Gypsy Rose Lee. When we think of Invisible Cabaret, we first think of our audience. #seewhatwedidthere
    ***

    - One complementary ticket for the show
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media (optional).

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    Pledge £15 or more About $19

    The Bettie

    The Bettie is similar to the Gypsy Rose, but with Bettie you get to see just a liiiitttle bit more. Inspired by Queen of Pin-Up, Bettie Page herself, let us pen you something that has an air of artistry and a modicum of mischief in its smile.
    ***

    - One complementary ticket.
    - Handwritten original poem written by a member of the cast.
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    The Ginger

    Ginger Rogers had two great feet. Ginger Valentine has two great... eyes. For inflammatory conditions, it is advised that you take two grams of powdered ginger. Basically, good gingers like pairs. That's why we're giving you these two tickets, PLUS at LEAST two special Invisible Cabaret badges for you twowear. To wear? Okay, we'll stop now.
    ***

    - Two complementary tickets for the show
    - Invisible cabaret badge set!
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media.

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $57

    The Dita

    Just like the modern-day monarch of the burlesque scene, we hope to please as well as Teese with our goodie-bag, filled with fun glittery treats made by our own fair hands.
    ***

    - Up to three complementary tickets for the show
    - Special burlesque/cabaret goodie bag, homemade by the cast.
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media.

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    Pledge £75 or more About $94

    The Minsky

    The Minsky Brothers knew that two is company, three's a crowd, anywhere between four and forty is a party, and any more than that is probably a raid. We'd like to leave the police to more pressing affairs, so let's you and us meet after the show to say thank you, peaceful-like, see?
    ***

    - Up to three complementary tickets
    - Invisible Cabaret goodie bag
    - Meet-and-greet with the troupe after the show
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $189

    The Dirty Martini

    Dirty Martini is celebrated in neoburlesque the world over for her ingenious creativity, grace and artistry. Whatever you get from her, you can guarantee it will be a surprise (and possibly more than you bargained for). Not unlike our exclusive flash drives, which will be filled with photos, videos, and songs: special easter eggs from the rehearsal process...
    ***

    - Up to five complementary tickets for the show
    - Invisible Cabaret goodie bag
    - Special flash drive filled with rehearsal footage and original files used during the show
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About US$ 629

    The Ziegfeld!

    Just like Flo, you must be a talent impresario of impeccable taste and high standards. We'll make sure you won't consider this a FOLLIE.
    ***

    - Up to five complementary tickets for the show
    - Invisible Cabaret goodie bag
    - Unique burlesque/ composing/ ukulele/ writing workshop with cast members (your choice!)
    - Invisible Cabaret Patron: thanks on website and social media.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (31 days)