INTERVIEW: MARY’S POPPINIS A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR FOR ADELAIDE

This weekend, the city will welcome a new and exciting club to our mix and it is set to sparkle and shine.

Mary’s Poppin’ is the first permanent cabaret bar in Adelaide’s east end, and will serve delectable cocktails while patrons are entertained by random popup shows from sexy singers, drag divas and beautiful burlesque performers.

IMG_9059Situated on Synagogue Place off Rundle Street, Mary’s Poppin’ was dreamed into reality by Swagger’s Stephen Craddock who says he wanted to bring something new and unique to Adelaide.

“Swagger has been really successful in Adelaide, and I do it in every state, apart from Northern Territory, and the kids all come out every month for it. I started to include the Rupaul’s Drag Race girls and they all came in force even more,” he says.

“It got me thinking there’s nothing really here for the next generation gay friendly/hetero friendly crowd. There are some amazing bars and restaurants here, but I wanted to do something slightly different and incorporate shows, art and performances, while keeping the capacity nice and low, so it’s not too scary and always feels full, comfortable, warm; and also free entry. I suppose we were trying to tailor all my experiences to what they want in Adelaide.”

Hailing from Manchester, Stephen came over here with a nightclub and is now running some of the most successful events in the country.

“I’ve been in Australia for 11 years now. I came out here with a nightclub and then went out on my own about three years later. I’m based in Sydney, but for the last couple of years I have been based on a plane, so I just go between my events. We do about 60 a year now; every weekend I’m in a different city. But I just got a place in Adelaide so I can base myself from here and take care of the bar,” he says.

Now he’s a local, Stephen, who runs the Rupaul’s Drag Race tours all over Australia, will treat Adelaide to some of the wonderful talent that often bypasses our city.

“I’m touring artists around the country all the time, so it’s really easy to drop them into Adelaide. Swagger has been going for three or four years and we’re still getting about 700 people each month. That shows me the kids definitely want to see stuff. Mary’s is an extension of that and is giving them somewhere they can go and feel comfortable three or four nights a week, and see some great acts while not breaking the bank,” he says.

“We’re steering away from regular drag shows, which everyone always does. They’re interesting and they’re fun, but it’s time to change it up a bit. We’ll still have our hosts, Luci and Eve, our main drag queens who will be there every night, but we’ll have shows designed to make you think and make you laugh and have a great time. Luci and Eve are stunning, they’re from Adelaide and they’re my absolute favourites.”

The acts will be an assortment of beautiful, crazy, funny and sexy; but always unexpected and definitely entertaining.

“It’ll be a variety so you’ll never really know what you’re going to see when you come to Mary’s. We’ll have our Rupaul’s girls here every month. They’ll go to Mary’s first and then they’ll go to the club to do their thing. I kind of based it on that show Briefs that came to the Adelaide Fringe recently. I’ve been working with Dallas Dellaforce quite closely on a couple of the shows here and she’s going to be a part of the launch, so that’s something we’re really excited about. Having her creative input has been incredible, as well as finding local talent here who want to show what they do,” Stephen says.

“There’s a program for the performances each night, and it’s all curated by us, but it will just happen, so there won’t be any announcements. It’ll happen in a corner or on a stage, round the stripper poles, or someone might pop up on a grand piano and perform something. It could be anything from contortionists, to tap dancers in the toilets, to having your nails painted; it could be anything!”

With a nod to the late-night New York speakeasies of the 1920s and 30s, Mary’s Poppin’ combines luxurious furnishings and a giant crystal chandelier with fun features like a mini disco in the bathroom cubicles and a designated selfie spot.

Internationally renowned designer Michael Delaney has styled the club and Stephen can’t wait for everyone to check out the place.

“I’m mostly excited about everybody seeing it because it’s been in in our minds for a good year and what our designer Michael Delany has come up with is pretty out there. We’ve got some great performers coming in from Sydney too, so I’m really stoked,”

“I’m quite nervous about the launch! We’ve had about 1000 people RSVP. A promoter always loves a queue, but I’ve never been comfortable with them. We can only fit 100 people in for the launch so we’re going to open the entire venue that night and have a big party for the people who can’t get into Mary’s straight away.”

Mary’s Poppin’ (Synagogue Place, Adelaide) will officially launch Friday 8th April and will be open Thursday – Saturday, 8pm until late.

You could win a double pass to the VIP launch this Friday night by entering here.

By Libby Parker
Photo of Eve and Luci supplied