Farewell tour for pop-up project

by Kent Caddick

A cabaret concert series, born from the rubble of the Christchurch earthquakes, is coming to Selwyn for the final time.

Le Cabaret de la Vie is the latest offering in the pop-up concert project, an initiative of Christchurch musician and producer Isabella Miller Bell aka Ma Bell.

The event will be held in the Nicholas Hall at the Lincoln Event Centre on April 1 starting at 7.30pm.

Isabella Miller Bell said the project was initially launched in 2011 at a local tennis club in Redcliffs, which was one of the few venues still standing following the earthquakes.

“The success of the first few events signalled that there was a need within communities for this type of event.”

The Scottish born singer said that due to local creative communities’ grants, she began touring the theatrical cabaret show around Canterbury and further south.

Since 2014 she has held three pop-up events in Selwyn communities including the 2016 Hororata Highland Games where she took part in the opening welcoming ceremony with a Celtic blessing in her native tongue.

Now six years and 30 plus shows on from that first concert in Redcliffs, the pop-up concert series of projects is winding down with a final tour of Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson. 

Ms Miller Bell said it has been a fantastic project, which has brought both creative and social benefits for the artists and communities involved.

“There is a real shortage of concert opportunities for the many highly talented musicians and performance artists Canterbury has to offer, and so it has been a very rewarding project which has helped to address that shortage.

“I hope to continue to produce future shows but for now the pop-up project has fulfilled a vision and purpose and it is time for a break.”

She said next month’s concert in Lincoln will be an evening of classic blues and jazz featuring some of Canterbury’s musicians, entertainers and performance artists including the infamous Madame Tragédie and the award-winning burlesque dancer Bonita Danger Doll.