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This page contains review quotes, Broken Romantics reviews, articles and hi-res photo downloads.

 

Review Quotes


“Singer, songwriter and self proclaimed ringmaster Emma Dean is a hobobag full of crazy pills. Like the really awesome hallucinogenic kind…100% addictive”
(New York Post)

“Quirky, kooky and a little bit eccentric … that’s just who this breath-taking performer is and everything about her is glorious. As Dean says, sometimes you need to accept that you aren’t a horse… you really are a unicorn”
(The Konfetti and The Creative Issue, Brisbane, Australia)

"....Emma is the spirit of cabaret, every part of her body engaged in her music....Take any chance to see this songstress...."
(Australian Stage)

"Move over Rufus and Tori. You have company."
(The Courier Mail, Brisbane, Australia)

“Curious, funny, astute and above all, weird. She could well stake a good claim to be the new Millennium's Kate Bush with her theatrical approach to music....”
(All Gigs, United Kingdom)

“Any chance to see the versatile, multi-talented musician should not be missed, especially when supported by the incredible musical talents of Tony Dean and Richard Grantham.”
(Blue Curtains, Brisbane, Australia)

 
Review: House Concert, Brisbane, Friday 16 February 2018


The Creative Issue (https://www.thecreativeissue.com.au), Posted 26 February 2018
Reviewer: Kayla Wratten

Emma Dean: the Broken, Romantic Unicorn

“A show for the warriors of love, the ragtag-hearted heroes, the beautiful, the brave, the healed and the crushed,” Emma Dean smiled at the audience spread before her in an array of beanbags. Most comfortable show ever? I’ll vouch for that.

The acclaimed songstress stood before us in a rainbow skirt tailor-made for her new cabaret, Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest for Love. After enjoying a sold-out world premiere at the Brisbane Powerhouse in November 2017, Dean has revived the show in a one-off intimate house production.

If we hadn’t guessed from the candle-lit pathways or the heart stickers we were given upon arrival, it was clear from the enormous broken heart sculpture and the littering of rose petals at our feet that the show would be all about the concept of heartbreak.

We weren’t wrong, but there were certainly a few surprises that tipped the concept of heartache on its head…
Kieran T. Stevenson kicked off the night with nothing but a keyboard and a captivating voice showcasing an impressive vocal range. With repetitive lyrics forming motifs in his work, Kieran proved to be a genuine and heart-warming performer, setting the tone for the main act.

When Emma Dean first appeared, glitter smeared on her cheeks and her skirt puffed around her legs, she seemed to exude an aura of fantastic energy. The performer stepped up to the microphone: “Revel in the messiness of what it means to be human. Raise a glass to your own imperfections, and perhaps… fall in love.”

It’s hard not to fall in love with her astonishing elastic voice, seemingly able to stretch from deep valleys to mountain peaks. Speaking of, the first song was a twisted rendition of Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart,’ backed by musicians Tony Dean, Richard Grantham and Katie Swan. From there, the audience was swept up in a whirlwind of original music, from ‘Healed of You,’ to ‘Light of Day'.

The inspiration behind her cabaret originated from a recent tour of Japan, where Dean learnt of the Japanese pottery style kintsugi: preparing broken ceramic with gold to highlight the unique cracks. She loves the idea of “turning something broken into something beautiful.”

Broken Romantics isn’t all serious, however, with songs such as ‘I Am a F*%King Unicorn’ and ‘I Want to Lick Your Eyeballs’… the latter of which included a chalkboard diagram of an eye and where exactly one needs to lick. Anyone share Dean’s sexual fetish? No? I didn’t think so.

Quirky, kooky and a little bit eccentric … that’s just who this breath-taking performer is and everything about her is glorious. As Dean says, sometimes you need to accept that you aren’t a horse… you really are a unicorn.

With the show’s cover art by Katie Swan, who also features as a backing vocalist, Emma Dean’s albums have never been more enticing. The mystical scenes the watercolours create instantly allow listeners to get a feel for the music: transcendental, entrancing and overall- beautiful.

Dean’s latest dream is to take the show to Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, the largest performing arts market in the world. Broken Romantics have their own pozible campaign calling for donations in exchange for some unique prizes, like braiding Richard’s hair or having dinner with the cabaret’s astounding physical theatre performer, Jamie Kendall.

Broken Romantics closed with Dean singing a love song to herself, eliciting an emotional response and an eruption of applause from the beanbag-nestled audience. If there is one guarantee from watching Emma Dean make magic, it’s that you’ll leave with your heart far from broken.

Link to online review (accessible as at 27Feb18)

 
Article: Warp Magazine, Hobart, Australia, June 2018

Text of article appears below:

Heart Breaker

Cabaret Artist and Singer Emma Dean is busy as hell. Frankly, I feel bad even taking up the fifteen minutes for this interview. The previous night she had a gig with Katie Noonan and a community choir she runs (called Cheep Trill – cute). She recently sang at the Commonwealth Games; she is preparing for two shows with the Festival of Voices and she’s preparing to head over to the massive Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in August. She’s got a lot of balls in the air but she’s happy.

“There’s the performance stuff, and admin that goes along with that as well. Like I’m wearing fifteen different hats,” she says. “I wish people had warned me (laughs); when I was young, I had this dream of being a professional performer. The image we’re fed is that once you make it – whatever that means to you, once you’ve got to a certain level or age, even – you’ll have this team of people, but the reality is that this is not the case. But on the flipside, I think it’s sometimes more rewarding, you get to the end of a big long season and think, ‘I did that all myself, I nearly killed myself but I did it all myself’. Having that artistic control is important to me.”

Dean will be bringing two shows to Festival of Voices. The First, Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Search for Love is a cabaret about heartbreak. Dean and her band will perform an array of heartbreaking covers and originals to celebrate, perhaps, the importance of romantic despair.

“It’s about heartbreak and healing and finding your unicorn,” Dean explains. “Basically it’s a mixtape featuring a lot of the songs I’ve been collecting that have got me through my most broken romantic times. Sometimes the stories I tell are a bit sad or sometimes the audience are in stitches, like when I’m talking about terrible Tinder dates. Hopefully there’s a little bit of something for everyone.”

The other, slightly more mysterious show, is a ‘short course’ called Unicorn Flashmob. It’s a workshop, of sorts, that allows you to actually become a part of Broken Romantics.

“Basically the idea is come and be a part of the show. That’s been a way to engage the community and everyone has responded really well. We’ve got all the stories to tell, and it’s those cracks in us that

make us really beautiful. It’s a part of the show that gives me goosebumps, seeing those beautiful people, some have never sung before. They’re owning their own stories which is a powerful thing.”

The long-time musician (with ten albums under her belt) doesn’t just do cabaret, of course. As mentioned, Dean was asked to perform at the Commonwealth Games this year.

“I write a lot of choral arrangements,” she explains “and I was asked to write an arrangement for John Farnham. It was all very top secret. There was John Farnham and 2,500 choristers all singing my arrangement of his song! And from that they knew they wanted to feature You’re the Voice in the Commonwealth Games. They said, ‘we need someone to sing the lead vocal for the opening, would you be interested?’ I was like, ‘yeah, obviously!’.”

“In the end my choir arrangement was dropped actually (laughs). It was completely surreal standing out into the stadium with thousands of people, knowing there was a billion people watching at home, and on top of it all, I lost my voice! I was a coughing spluttering mess, but somehow a miracle occurred. I channelled my inner unicorn hardcore. The body does incredible things when you work yourself into that warrior mindset (laughs).”

Be ready to experience all things that makes you human as well as your inner unicorn.


Lisa Dib

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Article: The Sunday Mail Brisbane, Australia, 19 November 2017
 
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