Yana Alana
Sarah Ward, as her alto ego Yana Alana

Helpmann Award-winning artist Yana Alana performs her smash hit show

2014 Helpmann Award-winning Best Cabaret Artist Yana Alana returns to Adelaide with her smash hit one-woman show “Between the Cracks” for a limited Fringe season at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. “Between the Cracks” is a bent night of blues, burlesque and blame from Australia’s favourite feather ruffler, rabble-rouser, and cabaret provocateur.

Accompanied by Jo Abbott, Yana Alana opens up and bares all – quite literally – through song, eccentric dance, poetry, and tantrums wearing little more than a slick of blue paint and some glitter. Smart, sexy and frequently smutty, “Between the Cracks” is cabaret at its very best – incisive, hilarious, confronting and, most of all, musically divine.

LOTL spoke to Sarah Ward, the creator of Yana Alana, about her limited season performances and LGBTIQ issues.

How would you describe your alter ego Yana Alana? What is so liberating about having an alter ego?

Yana Alana in “Between The Cracks” is different to her other shows. Usually, I describe her as a “Fabulous, histrionic cabaret provocateur”, but for this show, I would describe her as “A desperate, wild, divine, nude, blue diva”. Yana is a wonderful alter ego; she is a bouffant in the sense that she is like a clown, but without the naivety, she has lived and she has a lot to say about it. She is confident in ways I am not which is liberating. She’s a blown-up version of my dysfunctions which is therapeutic and she speaks her mind, which is cathartic.

Tell us about your show “Between the Cracks”.

This is a one-hour cabaret experience whereby Yana Alana falls apart while coming together – all at the same time. Covered in only a slick of blue paint, it doesn’t take long for that to rub off and for the cracks to show. It’s “Between The Cracks” that Yana loses herself and finds herself. The last line of the show is from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” – “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. For me that’s a beautiful metaphor for everybody, you are perfect just the way you are.

What would you like the audience to take away from the show?

A CD! But seriously, I’d like the show to linger for the audience so they find themselves talking about it with friends and family, unpacking the politics or laughing about something they didn’t get straight away because they were too busy taking in my huge blue arse. There are messages and everybody takes away something different. The main thing I’d like people to take away is “you are not alone”.

Have you encountered any obstacles being a member of the LGBTIQ community?

Sure, I’ve experienced direct and indirect homophobia and discrimination. I’ve experienced my own homophobia phobia (being scared of homophobia) and have censored my affections in certain environments. My main obstacles however are with the patriarchy, which I believe limits women as much as men.

Do you have any advice for LGBTIQ individuals looking to breakthrough in the industry?

Find your people, you know, those people who are not bigots or haters. Surround yourself with those who inspire you, find a mentor, celebrate your achievements, be brave and unafraid to push the boundaries. Do what feels right for you, don’t feel pressured by your colleagues, friends or family to do anything other than be true to yourself and your art.

Yana Alana – Between the Cracks
Date and Time:
13 February to 1 March
Location: The Deluxe in the Garden of Unearthly Delights
Cost: $32-40
Buy tickets at www.adelaidefringe.com.au or call 1300 621 255
Note: This show is rated R18+