Smooth operator Gary Williams talks about his cabaret career

Cabaret singer, Gary Williams

Cabaret star Gary Williams will perform Cocktail Classics at a special event at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall next month.

If you’re a fan of crooners Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams, then the event conducted by Roderick Dunk and featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on 17 February will be right up your street.

Expect to hear Moon River, Born Free and New York, New York and other classic songs from the era.

Williams is a northern boy made good. He grew up in Grimsby and has gone on to forge a success singing career on land – he’s a favourite at London’s iconic Crazy Coq – and on water – he regularly performs his solo swing cabaret show on top end cruise liners.

He’s also the author of Cabaret Secrets, a hefty tome detailing how artists can create their own cabaret show.

The book is packed with advice on everything from scripting and lighting, to promotion and make-up.

Williams is a consummate professional, he preaches the value of hard work and preparation and meticulously plans all his shows.

He says: “I believe that, within reason, you can do anything you want if you work hard enough. One of the most common things singers say to me is: ‘how do you talk to an audience? It must be easy for you, you’re a natural’. And I hate that. I wasn’t born with an amazing ability to communicate with an audience. It comes from years and years of experience and preparation.”

He also stresses the importance of connecting with the audience. His cruise ship show is influenced by the fact that as many as 60 different nationalities could be watching.

“My aim is to make people laugh, cry or get up and dance. I want them to leave feeling enriched. On a cruise ship, they want to have fun they don’t want to be educated.”

CLICK HERE for tickets to his show Classic Cocktails.

This is an extract from an article publishing in issue 20 of iSing magazine.


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Bronwyn Bidwell is an Australian journalist and editor based in London. She enjoys writing about music, books, history and popular culture.