Songs to Die For

Accompanying the exhibition Sideshow Alley: infamy, the macabre & the portrait

 The die is cast, as comedy cabaret duo, Shortis and Simpson present Songs To Die For, a musical exploration of society’s morbid fascination with criminals and death.

John Shortis, with his usual rigour (rigor Shortis), has dug up songs of convicts and pickpockets, murderers and mayhem that have laid buried in libraries and Archives for years. And he has given birth to brand new original songs of terror and torture.

Moya Simpson, with her flair for comedy and versatile singing has exhumed music hall gems that relive the humour and tunefulness of the time, and has breathed life into folk songs of convicts and bushrangers.

In their inimitable fashion Shortis and Simpson weave these songs together with fascinating, surprising and entertaining stories that will slay you in the aisles.

Don’t miss Songs To Die For. You’ll die laughing, dead set.

At the National Portrait Gallery, situated in the dead centre of Canberra’s gallery precinct. Fridays Jan 22/29, 6pm/7pm. Free. No bookings required.

And coming up….

Shortis and Simpson with up-to-date political satire at The Famous Spiegeltent, Civic Square. Sun Feb 21, 6.30pm, $35/$30. To book, go to

Cobargo Folk Festival- Shortis and Simpson with political satire, plus Good Evening Europe (history of Eurovision) with surprise guests, plus appearances in FolKwizz (Spicks and Specks meets RocKwiz, meets folk) Cobargo Showground, Feb 26-29,

Worldly Goods Au Naturel Worldly Goods Choir at National Archives to accompany Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, National Archives, Fri Mar 4/11, 7pm. Free.

Out of the Cabinet-To accompany release of cabinet documents 1990/91. National Archives, Sat Mar 5/12, details soon.

The Power and the Passion-Accompanying the Midnight Oil exhibition, Shortis and Simpson give their unique musical take on the music and politics and social history of this important Aussie band. Fri Mar 28, Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Details soon.