Interview with Bernie Dieter

Interview with Bernie Dieter

You know what turn of phrase I love? “A character” – as in, “she’s a bit of a character”, which is British code for “I’m not sure I can cope with her weirdness”.

When it comes to Cabaret performers, there couldn’t be a better phrase – whether they’re literally playing a role, or they’re just plain odd – the scene is FULL of “characters”.

On a totally unrelated note…this week we interviewed Bernie Dieter! The plumed, gin-loving goddess behind the Little Death Club spared a few minutes to give us a glimpse into her life, and into the delightfully debauched show she’s taking to Edinburgh.

CREDIT: Ayesha Hussian

1) In your own words...who is Bernie Dieter and how was she born?

My mother was German and my father was drunk (hence the slightly confusing accent). I was born in Kologne in Germany but we moved around a lot, and I always loved singing.

2) You have taken shows all over the world – what’s your favourite bit about being on the road?

All the beautiful people you meet and the stories you have to tell afterwards, darlings. The late-night lock ins, drinking ‘til the sunrise, the passionate bearded men... and women, the midnight cheese feasts, the circus family that you see all over the world.

3) ...And what’s your least favourite bit?

Trying to fit my entire life into one suitcase. I usually travel with at least 3 bottles of gin, so that can become quite difficult.

4) Can you tell us a little more about the Little Death Club? What can audiences expect (besides the unexpected?)

The darkest, funniest, most debauched kabarett club this side of Berlin. A gin soaked, Weimar-punk jazz band soundtracks a hazy night of full original dirty songs, sexy circus and fire-breathing sideshow at its most inappropriate, provocative and hilarious best.

CREDIT: Scott Chalmers

5) Go on– share your funniest on-stage moments with us. The dafter the better.

There was one night where I had asked some beautiful big strong men to carry me back to the stage (as you do, I mean it’s much more practical than walking!) and somehow (it may have been the gin or the stairs or a combination of both) we all fell in a heap onto the stage. I ended up with a very bearded man right between my thighs. I think he thought I would be shocked and jump up and carry on, but instead I lay there enjoying the moment for quite some time.

6) You are well known as part of a duo (with East End Cabaret)–how different is it going solo and is there anything about the experience which surprised you?

There are wonderful things about being in a double act, but ultimately as a solo artiste I get to have ALL of the attention! During the show AND when people are buying drinks at the bar. All of the attention and all of the gin!

7) Does your dark, debauched wit get you into trouble with audiences?

Yes. But that’s half the fun of it darling, if everyone thought you were ok that would be depressing. When people either love you or hate you, at least you are getting a passionate reaction which means you are doing something right.

8) What’s next for Bernie?

The Little Death Club is going to be doing a huge world tour post Edinburgh. Together with Dead Man Label we have some very exciting plans that we can’t say too much about as yet, but 2019 will be a very big year.

CREDIT: Ayesha Hussian 

Quickfire questions

1) Favourite city to perform in?

Edinburgh. Kilts and a wonderfully dirty sense of humour.

2) Favourite act to perform with? 

Le Gateau Chocolat. Utter genius/idiot.

3) One thing you couldn’t live without?


4) Item of clothing which best sums you up?

My feathers.

5) Ideal dinner party guest (dead or alive, real or fictional)?

Myself. We would probably get it on.

Fancy meeting this character in real life? She’ll be shaking her sequins in Edinburgh from the 3rd to the 25th August, 2018. Find your tickets here.

CREDIT: Scott Chalmers 

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