Sharron Matthews Set to Open Stratford's SpringWorks Festival With a Bang

Jessi Seguin's picture

Opening nights are ever an exciting and elegant gala, celebrating months of hard work. This year on May 12 – at SpringWorks indie theatre & arts festival – will be no exception. Though there may be a bit more rocking out as Sharron Matthews takes the stage with her signature irreverent wit and solid gold mash-ups in a comedic tour-de-force concert.

Sharron Matthews Set to Open Stratford's SpringWorks Festival With a Bang

“I wanted a show that was new, edgy, intimate, with fabulous musicians…featuring music by your favourite artists...arranged in a whole new way,” says Matthews. “I wanted to create something special for SpringWorks!”

And it is certain to be just that. Featuring music by artists such as Lady Gaga, Guns 'N Roses, Radiohead, Beyonce, Queen and more, there is no doubt this will be an evening to remember

With a "voice that could stop traffic" (Hamilton Spectator), Matthews has been playing to sold out houses and 5-star reviews across Canada, South Africa, London, and in New York City. At the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Matthews’ cabaret was voted Best of the Fest. In New York in 2010, Nite Life Exchange called her the #1 Cabaret in NYC. Toronto’s NOW Magazine named her the Best Cabaret performer in 2009. She has also been named the 2015 Touring Artist of the Year (BC Touring Council) and Woman of the Year (New Current, UK). It’s safe to say Matthews is accustomed to wowing the crowd. 

Though, if asked, Matthews is pretty modest. “I simply look to tell truthful stories,” she says, “and like life, truthful stories have all the things needed for good entertainment.” More often than not in the cabaret world, that can mean big laughs!

Although comedy is a big part of successful cabaret, Matthews is adamant that she never forces the funny. “I pick some pieces because I think they might inspire comedy...but I never work too hard to plan it, because the audience has their own ideas about what they find funny...and they ALWAYS surprise me,” says Matthews. 

With such an eclectic selection, funny isn’t the only thing on the menu at this year’s SpringWorks opening night. First and foremost, it’s all about the music! “I love all music. No kidding. Every song that comes on while I am driving is my FAVOURITE song. I say it every time and my husband George is kind enough NOT to point it out,” laughs Matthews. 

Sharron Matthews Set to Open Stratford's SpringWorks Festival With a Bang

However, the real artistry comes in figuring out how to put a show together. It’s not enough to love the music, you’ve got to make it your own. Matthews says “I have always thought that the artist who did the song first conquered THAT WAY of doing it...and that is why it is a hit. I don't want to recreate their performance.” So, with all the arrangements and rehearsals, Sharron Matthews will be celebrating the culmination of her hard work as much as the staff of SpringWorks!

Sharron Matthews will be opening SpringWorks indie theatre & arts festival 2016 on May 12 at 8pm at Factory163. Tickets are available online at or at the door. A reception will follow. 

Jessi Séguin is an actor, playwright, and arts administrator from Stratford, Ontario. Lately she has appeared as The Field Mouse in A Wind In The Willows Christmas (Alternative Theatre Works). Some favourite writing credits include The Cousins of Corsica (2015 SpringWorks’ People’s Choice Award), Thrown (Honourable Mention, Canadian International Film Festival 2014), Pickled Heart (SpringWorks 2014), and The Man with the Leek in his Cap (shortlisted for Robertson Davies Playwriting Award, University of Toronto Drama Festival). Jessi is a graduate of the joint Acting program at Sheridan College and the University of Toronto.