What in God’s name is a conferencier, anyway? I don’t think I’d so much as stumbled into the term until I attended the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Barry Humphries’ Weimar Cabaret. Trust the incorrigibly erudite Mr H to be responsible for another notch on the rickety bedpost of my education. Turns out it’s the fit ‘n’ proper term for the MC, in European cabaret. What could be more fitting?
This concert is a veritable museum piece, in which Humphries is both curator and one of the exhibits. Curator, for it is he, the curiouser and curiouser raconteur and intellectual bon vivant (since we’re in the mood for French), who, as I apprehend it, has put together this programme of songs emblematic of that shining sliver of history that preceded the greatest cataclysm to sweep Europe, in the form of the infamous machtergreifung.READ MORE