Family history told through cabaret

August 29, 2022 BY

Archival: Cabaret show Lost in Venice was inspired by film footage and photos from writer Julia Foenander’s grandfather’s trips to Europe during the 1950s and 1960s. Photo: SUPPLIED

A PIE and the story of the founder of Pampas Pastry has inspired a theatre piece combining cabaret and archived film footage that’s currently touring regional Victoria.

Julia Foenander wrote and co-produced Lost In Venice based on her grandfather’s trips to Europe during the 1950s and 1960s which were documented through super 8 film and photographs.

She said on one trip, her grandfather Ron Vincent travelled to Italy with his friend and founder of Pampas Pastry, who died overseas.

“I never really thought about it until I was making a pie and I was looking at the Pampas Pastry and I thought I’d just google it and there’s nothing about the trip or the person who invented it, and I thought that’s a shame,” she said.

“[The show] is about what happened on the trip. It’s also an in-depth look at life in the 1950s and 60s for women and the social and political changes that were happening for women at the time.”

Lost In Venice, produced by Raconteur Productions, uses footage shot by Foenander’s grandfather, and features the real gifts he brought back for his wife.

It debuted in Bendigo earlier this month, and Foenander said she had mixed emotions seeing it performed.

“Emotionally it’s been quite challenging but satisfying at the same time, there’s relief too that their story is now out there, it’s preserved,” she said. “The story is so big, it reaches into all corners.”

Foenander said it’s a smaller show than usual for Raconteur Productions, however that means it can be brought to theatres in Heathcote and Elmore.

“We’ve never played in Heathcote or Elmore before,” she said. “Normally our shows are really big and only go in major theatres, so being able to do a more intimate show with an intimate audience in a smaller show is something we’re really looking forward to.”

Lost In Venice comes to the Elmore Memorial Hall on Wednesday, 14 September and the Heathcote RSL Hall on Thursday, 15 September. Tickets are available at bendigoregion.com.au.