Maeve Marsden, Director
Maeve Marsden is a writer, project manager, director, producer and performer who lends her passions to the arts, as well as to social justice campaigns and organisations she believes in. Influenced by a passion for cabaret and women, she conceived of Lady Sings it Better in 2009 and recruited a talented bunch of creatives to make her dream a reality. Maeve produces cabaret with Phoebe Meredith as blackcat productions, with a particular focus on emerging artists, feminist and queer performance. Maeve is a finalist for the 2014 Honour Awards in Arts and Entertainment. She blogs at maevemarsden.com.
Libby completed a Bachelor of Music (musical theatre) at the Australian Institute of Music. She has performed at Light The Night and was a finalist in the Sydney Cabaret Showcase 2009. Her performance CV also includes musicals Promises Promises, Tommy, Sunday In The Park With George and The Wild Party. On a recent trip to New York, Libby happily watched an average of 3 musicals a day.
Sydney based and Nowra bred, Annaliese Szota blends a love of the cheeky and geeky with earnest poetry and heartfelt piano. Armed with her 20kg digital piano ‘beast’ and her loop-pedal ‘lupe’, Annaliese has shared a bill with noted artists Wes Carr, Lanie Lane, Deborah Conway, Tim Rogers, and Brendan Maclean. Her collaborative escapades have seen her share the stage with The Whitlams, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Ernest Ellis and Wolf and Cub. Annaliese has also worked as an actor, demo soundtrack vocalist and children’s acting director. Her two self funded EPs ‘be the happy people’ and ‘little bubbles’ are both available for purchase on bandcamp.
Fiona has a wealth of experience in comedy, improvisation, cabaret and musical theatre. She was a 2010 Grand Finalist in the 8th Annual Cabaret Showcase and in 2009 she won ‘Best Actress’ in Short & Sweet Song (Pilgrim Theatre). As part of the two woman comedy duo ‘KelFi & FiKel’, she was listed as one of SMH’s top 10 rising comedians, and performed at a number of festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival , Sydney Comedy Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, and Slide Cabaret Festival. For Impro Australia she has performed in Mixed Shaken & Stirred at Belvior St Theatre and the Cranston Cup semi finals at the Factory Theatre in 2009/2010. Earlier stand up/sketch comedy work includes the House of Mirth launch night and Belushi’s ‘Falling Down with Laughter’ experiment, both in the UK.
Hayden Barltrop, Piano
Hayden is a Sydney-based musician, musical director, composer and arranger, pianist, saxophonist, singer-songwriter and teacher. Graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2012, Hayden is known for his work with Squabbalogic Independent Theatre Company, as MD of Sondheim On Sondheim, Bye Bye Birdie, and also as a member of the cast of Man of La Mancha. Hayden has also been involved with a number of new Australian shows, including Adverbs, which premiered in Melbourne in 2014, and Stalker: The Musical, which will premiere at the Hayes Theatre in July this year. Hayden has performed for several charity events, including ‘Hats Off!’ and the All-Ribbons Ball. He has been involved with Lady Sings it Better since 2012.
Lauren Allison, Drums
Lauren Allison graduated from The University of New England in 2006 with Distinction in Popular Music and Performance. Since then, she has been playing, teaching, recording and touring all over Australia at festivals such as Feast, Midsumma, Sydney and Adelaide Fringe and Peats Ridge. From pop to rock, funk to jazz, Lauren plays with a diverse range of bands every night of the week. When she is not behind the drum kit, she manages Drums and Percussion at Australia’s leading music retailer, Allans Billy Hydes. Lauren proudly endorses DW Drums. Read all about Lauren here, on Cabaret Confessional.
Hannah James, Bass
Hannah James is an honors graduate from the Canberra School of Music. For the duration of her degree Hannah was the recipient of the ANU Undergraduate Scholarship. An experienced performer and band leader, Hannah’s past credits include performances with Australian Jazz legend Don Burrows, Kevin Hunt, Aria Award Winner Miroslav Bukovsky, Jessica Mauboy, ANU Jazz Lectures John Mackey, Mike Price, and Matt Thompson as well as extensive festival appearances and corporate engagements. Hannah is the 2011 recipient of the Jann Rutherford Memorial Award.
Cate Madill, Vocal Director
Cate Madill grew up in Tasmania, spending much of her adolescence treading the boards in musicals. She studied acting at the Flinders University Drama Centre and Graduated with Honours in Voice Studies. She then moved to Sydney where she worked as an actor, singer and vocal coach for long enough to realise she needed to make a better living out of her passion for the voice, so studied speech pathology, graduating with the University medal in 1998. Since then she has established a private practice specialising in treatment of voice disorders and training professional voice users, been awarded a PhD in voice research and is currently an academic at The University of Sydney. Her passion for the singing voice has taken on a glorious new dimension working with the gals in Lady Sings it Better.
Laura-Beth Wood, Choreographer
Laura Beth has studied dance and performance at Masters and PhD level. Her postgraduate studies took place at the prestigious Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and The Place – London Contemporary School of Dance – Royal Ballet. She has lectured in dance and performing arts at Institutions across the UK and directed, choreographed and artistically led numerous professional projects. She was a spinal rehabilitation specialist in London while also working at the Hackney Empire Theatre in Publicity and Arts Management. As a principal dancer, Laura Beth has worked and performed with the following companies; Pina Bausch: Tanztheater Wuppertal, Retina Dance Company, The Cholmondeleys, Rambert Dance Company, Motion House Dance Company, Vincent Dance Company and DV8 Physical Theatre as well as performing in the West End.
Viv McGregor, Photographer
Viv McGregor is a photographer based in Sydney, working across art, commercial, event, wedding and community projects, but her special love is reserved for shooting live performances and documenting the queer scene. She fell in love with blackcat productions the moment Lady Sings it Better belted out their cover of ‘Closer’ to a packed Red Rattler. Since then, Viv has had the privilege of shooting the Ladies for publicity stills and at several events, trying to get Maeve and Phoebe to stop giggling long enough to get some headshots for blackcat’s website, and most recently working on the photoshoot for the upcoming blackcat lounge (2012).
Michelle Horn, Graphic Design
Michelle has worked in the graphic design industry for over 10 years, primarily as a Creative Director in corporate and retail design/print. She enjoys expressing her creative side with blackcat productions!
Former Lady Sings it Better team members include: Phoebe Meredith, Tim Hansen, Joe Twist, Chris Williams, Belinda Crawford, Jenni Little, Monique Potter, Sonia Allan, Tanya Hennessy, Jess Maynard, Fiona Pearson, Lily Donovan, Jono Stephens and Gregory Stevens.