Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly ****
By Finegan Kruckemeyer By Theatre Lovett (Ireland)
Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne,
Public shows: Sat 9 Aug & Sun 10 Aug, 11.30am
& 1pm. (Schools shows 5-8 Aug) Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: ****
Review also published in Herald Sun online, Aug 7, 2014 and later in print. KH
Louis Lovett pic by Pat Redmond
Engaging an audience of
children in the theatre is a delicate art and Louis Lovett’s solo show, The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly, does it with
style and humour.
Lovett, an award-winning
performer visiting Melbourne from Ireland, populates the stage with eccentric
characters in this bittersweet, adventure tale about Peggy O’Hegarty and her
Peggy and her shrill,
deaf mother and patient father, run a business as packers; they pack small
stuff into bigger stuff, such as putting foxes into boxes.
directed by Lyne Parker, is deceptively simple, but Lovett’s skills are complex
and include vivid storytelling, goofy clowning, bold characterisation, melodic
singing and evoking an elaborate landscape through mime.
One of his exceptional
skills is to effortlessly and imperceptibly draw the children into unexpected
participation so that they automatically fill in the blanks in his dialogue,
remind him to finish the play, call out helpful hints or clap a rhythm for his
dancing without any prompting.
The script, written by
Hobart playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, cleverly weaves Peggy’s narrative, starting with
Lovett outlining the characters and events to come, and even warning us about a
tragedy and a bloody scene.
The tale combines a
dark, haunting quality with a bright, cheerful morality tale that suggests
helping others, being kind and courageous are good things.
Each morning,Peggy and her mum and dad greet each other perkily, eat an egg for
breakfast, then Peggy sings in a terribly off-key voice and they go off
But, when the townspeople need saving from a
sinking boat, a storm and an addled villain called Peter, Peggy finds that she
can sing in tune and her bright, siren song saves the people from certain
destruction on the rocks.
So sing at the top of your voice, even when
people tell you to stop, because singing can save the day – and it makes you
feel good when things are going badly.