Tag Archives: Nina Hagen.

Tim Mckew Australian Cabaret Legend

by Kerrie Pacholli

I first met with Tim Mckew for a one on one, in his locale at the Abbotsford Convent the other day.

I had heard about his forth coming Dadaist performance art show, “Come Down With Us” running over three nights in August 2015 on Friday 28, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30, between 6 – 8pm at the William Mora Galleries, and after doing my research the night before, I was very interested to meet the man.

Tim McKew performing at St Kilda’s Tolarno Galleries in 1979.
Tim Mckew performing at St Kilda’s Tolarno Galleries in 1979 image by Henry Talbot.

I discovered that Tim Mckew is a vibrant singer, songwriter, playwright and producer, whose successful career has spanned over five decades in show business and the arts, encompassing TV, theatre, radio and cabaret.

Throughout his extensive career he has  performed on stage with the likes of Nick Cave, Paul Kelly and Germany’s Nina Hagen to name a few.

He describes  “Come Down With Us” as a Homage to his Dadaist shows that were held at St Kilda’s Tolarno Galleries back in 1979.

This ignited my interest as I discovered that Tim had great success here and in London and Europe, particularly Berlin because the original shows were so cutting edge and ahead of the times. They were a collaboration of Melbourne’s brightest talents of the day including works by Peter Vanessa “Troy” Davies,  costumes by Jenny Bannister and photography by Henry Talbot and Rennie Ellis. 

To give you a bit of background, Tim Mckew cousin of Australian journalist and  politician Maxine McKew was the youngest of five children born to working class, Irish / Italian parents who lived in Port Melbourne’s Garden City. Although Tim’s father Pat McKew was a die hard wharfie both parent’s supported their family  by working as independent local SP bookmakers. Tim describes his childhood as colourful. His Italian mother also came from a long line of beautiful singers and musicians. After discovering Tim’s gift for singing she set about transporting him into the land of show business with his first gig on national TV with Brian and the Juniors during the 1960’s.

Another interesting and significant chapter to Tim Mckew’s story is that for the last 10 years he has been performing and is considered one of the best Noël Coward tribute artist around the globe, with celebrated performances across Australia’s major cities, New York and London. Producing his own shows as well as writing and performing his own original material, to the delight of his audiences, Tim succeeds to recreate the magic of that very poignant time in history during Noel Coward’s life and times.

Tim Mckew performing as Noel Coward.
Tim Mckew performing as Noel Coward image ABC still from the Collectors’

It is not surprising as both artists share parallel experiences throughout their lives, albeit from different times, yet both remained and still remain profoundly true to his own originality and artistic expressions.



WHEN: AUGUST  2015 FRI. 28, SAT. 29, SUN. 30