In December 2007 Melinda formed Kiss & Tell Cabaret with composer and comedian Jeremy Limb and the writer and critic Lloyd Evans specialising in political and satirical cabaret. Their first performances were a sell out success at Volstead nightclub in London with Petronella Wyatt as special guest. Their up to the minute songs have been used for Art events, parties, launches and viral campaigns on youtube. Melinda’s interest in in 1930’s Weimar music led her record a collection of songs by Mischa Spoliansky together with their own songs. Smoke and Noise was released in 2011 on the Nimbus Alliance label and received rave reviews in the UK and the US.

Kiss & Tell have since performed at The Al Bustan Festival, Beirut, Metropolitan Room New York, Crazy Coqs Zedel, The Pheasantry, 5 Hertford Street, Chelsea Arts Club, Dover Street Arts Club, Pizza on the Park, Theo Fennell, The Hay on Wye Literary Festival, Cadogan Hall for Intelligence Squared,  as well as many events and private parties. They made their Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2013 to critical acclaim. They have performed on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, BBC Radio London and on BBC Radio 4 with Barry Humphries about a programme on Weimar Cabaret.

Weimar Cabaret

Backed by a Jazz trio, Weimar and Back is a show devised and performed by Melinda Hughes taking a then-and-now journey through Weimar Cabaret, bringing alive songs by celebrated Jewish composers such as Kurt Weil, Mischa Spolianksy, Werner Heymann and Friedrich Hollaender. These songs are juxtaposed with newly written satirical songs by Jeremy Limb and Melinda Hughes.

A wealth of diverse music was written during the late 20’s and into 1930’s depression amidst a cultural, intellectual surge of creativity and Germany on the brink of war. Music is interspersed with excerpts from the 1938 “Entartete Musik” (forbidden music) pamphlet and Christopher Isherwood’s “Goodbye to Berlin” the inspiration for the film Cabaret, making this unique show not only hugely entertaining but also educational. Melinda has performed Weimar & Back in New York, London (London festival of Cabaret) Paris and at the Suoni dal Golfo Festival Liguria, Italy. Melinda’s new CD Weimar and Back is available on Nimbus Alliance.

“Melinda Hughes is the newest exponent of the Weimar spirit in music and the certainly the most personable”
Barry Humphries.

MARGO:Half woman, half beast

2018 saw the premiere of MARGO: Half woman, half beast at JW3 London with 4 & 5 star reviews.

Margo is the story of Margo Lion, the French ballet dancer who in 1921 travelled from Constantinople to Berlin to attend The Russian School of Ballet. Instead she was gripped by the fever of the Berlin cabaret scene. There she met and married Marcellus Schiffer, the leading lyricist of the day. Together they performed music by Friedrich Hollaender and Mischa Spolianksy in Berlin’s nightclubs and theatres. Their tempestuous bi-sexual relationship was fuelled by alcohol, cocaine, and jealousy. In 1933 with the rise of the Nazi party, Marcellus (who was Jewish) committed suicide. Margo fled to Paris where she continued to work as an actress until her death in 1989. Margo is written by Melinda Hughes, directed by Sarah Sigal featuring music by Mischa Spolianksy, Friedrich Hollander, Kurt Weil, Werner R. Heyman and newly written songs by Jeremy Limb & Melinda Hughes