Bradley McCaw is bringing the quirky history of cabaret to the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Cabaret is an eclectic art form by its very nature, but even more varied than the performance itself is its colourful history.

Bradley McCaw explores the traditions and stories of cabaret through the ages in his one-man show The Complete Unauthorised Biography of Cabaret, coming to the Brisbane Powerhouse from 5 to 7 December.

“It’s a funny, moving, tender testament to an art form that is not completely forgotten,” he says. “It’s a true story but it has to be heard to be believed. It’s pretty ridiculous some of these characters from the past.

“One of my all-time favourite acts was this Frenchman who used to fart his act … he would fart songs and he was the highest paid entertainer in France. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?”

The research process for the show was extensive and at times surprising, says McCaw.

“It was like going down a wormhole,” he says. “I read quite a lot of books, trolled every possible internet page you could think of, listened to a whole lot of music, watched old video databases – everything, even articles on the importance of cafes in France in the 1800s, because you never knew when an interesting character would pop up.”

Fresh from a sold-out showing on Broadway’s 42nd Street as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, McCaw says performing the show there was a ‘real thrill’.

“It was something that I’d been aspiring to for many years that happened very quickly,” he says. “It was surreal in that I’d reached the pinnacle of some mountain and then in other respects I became aware of the mountain that was lying behind it.”

For more information about The Complete Unauthorised Biography of Cabaret, check out our event guide.