Kate Miller-Heidke in a scene from The Divorce.
Kate Miller-Heidke in a scene from The Divorce. ABC

Kate Miller-Heidke tunes in to her funny self

KATE Miller-Heidke is laughing her way to the end of the year.

The chart-topping singer and songwriter caps off 2015 with two humorous projects: ABC's comedy opera The Divorce and a cheeky Christmas charity single.

The Divorce, a four-part series about a couple celebrating their split with a lavish party, is Heidke's first dramatic TV role.

"I'd never acted on screen before," she tells APN.

"I've performed in operas on stage, but the style of acting for television is very different.

"My natural inclination was to be hammier than I needed to be, so I just had to bring that down. One of the other challenging things was shooting out of sequence. I had to have a very strong sense of where my character was in the story.

"It was a challenge and a big learning experience but everyone in the cast was really helpful and supportive."

Heidke stars opposite Lisa McCune, Marina Prior and Hugh Sheridan in the special mini-series filmed at the historic Werribee Mansion outside Melbourne.

Singer Kate Miller-Heidke
Singer Kate Miller-Heidke Jo Duck

"It is over-the-top in the tradition of operatic comedies," she says.

"It's ridiculous, but high camp and funny.

"When we were learning it there was lot of laughter going on in the rehearsal studio."

Heidke has also been making waves on social media for the humorous charity single I'm Growing a Beard Downstairs for Christmas she recorded with The Beards to raise money for Bowel Cancer Australia.

"I've been friends with The Beards for a few years and they came on tour with me," she says.

"They've got some very serious fans who are very passionate about beards, and their fans used to heckle me even though I was headlining. People would yell out 'You don't have a beard' during my own set and I'm still fuming about that a few years later (laughs)."

The song's lyrics make a not-so-subtle reference to personal grooming for men and women below the belt.

"It got suggested we do a Christmas single, I had the idea for the title and it happened very quickly and naturally from there," Heidke says.

"It's also fully integrated into the band's Decembeard campaign, which is a Movember-style thing."

Heidke's not opposed to throwing the song into her set list, at the request of her fans, when back on the road in February.

"I got itchy feet and I wanted to get on the road again," she says of the 10-date tour.

"I've been doing quite a bit of theatre stuff this year with my (children's) opera The Rabbits… I just wanted to get out and play my own stuff and also preview a few new songs I'm going to record after the tour's over."

The Divorce airs back-to-back nights tonight through Thursday at 9.30pm on ABC1.

Kate Miller-Heidke plays The Byron Theatre on February 11, the Ipswich Civic Centre on February 12 and The Triffid in Brisbane on February 14.

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