CREATED by Finucane & Smith in partnership with Her Majesty’s Ballarat

WRITTEN by Jackie Smith

DIRECTED by Moira Finucane

STARRING direct descendant of Lola Montez, Miss Caroline Lee, and chanteuse Clare St Clare

Exhilarating theatrical cabaret

A sumptuous storytelling extravaganza from the Patrick White Playwright Award winning creators of the Caravan Burlesque, Glory Box and the Australian gothic The Flood. Witness the true lies of the wildest showgirl of the nineteenth century, LOLA MONTEZ. This joyous new work features the rabble rousing, skirt raising, whip-smart dancer, courtesan, agitator and legend of the Australian goldfields, LOLA.

Starring the direct descendant of Lola herself, multi-award winning actress CAROLINE LEE, directed by internationally acclaimed Queen Provocateur Moira Finucane, and featuring smouldering chanteuse CLARE ST CLARE, LOLA unfurls on stage in a cloud of black and blood red silk, ‘lily-white skin’, literary adventure, smouldering song, hilarious storytelling and, of course, a death scene or three.

Available to Tour



Theatre, Drama, Cabaret


Adult audiences 18 +; Lovers of Drama, Cabaret & Burlesque; Australian history buffs.


70 minutes  plus optional post show Lola Lounge

Minimum Stage

Flexible (black box, studio, prosc arch, non conventional spaces); Works particularly well with cabaret-style seating .

Previous Seasons

PREMIERE SEASON: Her Majesty’s Theatre Ballarat 2017; Australian Goldfields Tour July – Oct 2017

Technical Specifications

The Story of Lola Montez

The Australian gold rush bought people from over the world to Victoria looking for luck, freedom and a new life. entertainers were daring adventurers. 14 Chinese Opera Companies toured Victoria. Sly grog was sold, theatres and tents were packed, and in 1855 Lola Montez arrived. The scandal is legend.

She horsewhipped her critics (most famously The Editor of the Ballarat Times), swung down mineshafts on a single rope with champagne in hand, created the infamous erotic spider dance “the most libertinish and indelicate performance that could be given on the public stage”(Sydney Morning Herald 1855),  escaped arrest dressed only in her jewels, became a Chinese Opera lover… Showered with gold nuggets and insults, Lola Montez swept through Australia and its goldfields leaving a wake of outraged citizens, lovesick miners, and a legend of freedom and rebellion that lives on today.

What people are saying

 “Caroline Lee’s Lola is a fascinating character who teases and tantalises throughout Smith’s fascinating verbal strip-tease. Sumptuously gowned, she flirts outrageously with her audience, always promising more as she weaves together fact and myth to lead them up the proverbial garden path, where, in the stunning Spider Dance finale, all is revealed, literally.” Australian Arts Review

 “What a night! Hilarious, truthful history, erotic, exotic, confronting and exciting, but above all, like everything else Finucane & Smith do, Lola is engrossing and enjoyable” 3MBS

“Luscious and indulgent and glorious … riveting and empowering and awe inspiring in its beauty. You should not miss your chance to experience a transformative and spell-binding night of story telling.” ★★★★☆ Planet Arts

“WOW! Entertaining, and exciting, beautiful and talented, injecting humour, drama, sadness and nostalgia into her riveting performance… All I can say is wow!” The Welcome Record, Dunolly & District Community News

“Spellbinding!” Canberra City News

Selling Points

  • A fascinating and hugely entertaining true story about a little known Australian icon.
  • Exciting collaboration between original and acclaimed performance legends Moira Finucane & Caroline Lee
  • Highly theatrical combination of storytelling, cabaret and burlesque.
  • A great night out for the whole community – invite audiences to dress-up in period costume!

What people are saying (continued!)

“The scandalous Lola Montez performed to a sell out Deniliquin crowd … people enjoyed an outrageous performance, and a champagne soiree afterwards saw people mix and mingle with the stars… risqué, exotic, and thoroughly enjoyed by all.” Pastoral Times

 “A beautifully lyrical play, a flawless performance … an astounding interpretation of the Lola Montez story.”  The Melbourne Critique

“Jackie Smith has cleverly embellished this information with her own imaginings to fashion an entertainingly subversive and intriguing script, for which director, Moira Finucane has devised gloriously theatrical production, utilising elements of burlesque razzle dazzle to sugar-coat messages of body-image, celebrity, and girl-power.” Australian Arts Review

Community Engagement

The Lola Lounge! 

After the show, patrons get a chance to meet Lola at her exclusive club The Lola Lounge. This has proved to be a highly successful addition to the show, with audiences loving the chance to meet Lola (performer Caroline Lee) and Clare St Clare after the show, share stories, sing & dance the night away. This can take many forms, as a foyer event, or an exclusive post-show soiree.