The Australian cabaret star will play Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at the Globe Theatre.

The Australian “Queen of Cabaret”, Meow Meow, is one of the country’s most accomplished fringe performers, known for her irreverent and risque productions, her trademark black corset and wild, raven-haired bob. However, the actress and singer behind the saucy chanteuse, Melissa Madden-Gray, is a highly versatile artist and has been making impressive strides into the mainstream in recent months. Appearing in Opera Australia’s TV blockbuster, The Divorce, last year, Madden-Gray has now secured a role on one of the world’s most hallowed and historically significant stages: as Titania in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe Theatre in London.

Meow Meow in her recent hit-show Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid at Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. 

The bold casting by the Globe’s newly appointed Artistic Director, Emma Rice, is consistent with the shake-up many have expected from the former Kneehigh AD. Rice’s engagement as the new boss of the Globe – the authentic reconstruction of the theatre which championed the plays of Shakespeare during his lifetime – raised the eyebrows of some purists when it was announced last May, but has subsequently been praised by the London theatre scene.

 The Globe Theatre

Those familiar with Rice’s work will perhaps find the casting of Meow Meow as the Queen of the Fairies unsurprising as the two formidable women have shared a close creative relationship for several years. Rice first saw Meow Meow perform at the Soho Theatre in 2010. Impressed with the Aussie performer’s stage charisma and comic flare, Rice first cast her in Kneehigh’s production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in 2011. In an interview with The Guardian, Rice described Meow Meow as: “Managing to be the theatrical equivalent of every woman,” adding that she was “super glamorous, super empathetic to the world and one of the funniest creatures you will ever meet.”

Rice’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs at the Globe Theatre in London from April 30 to June 18.

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