You’ve got to love a show that includes yummy food, and this show started with just that. Seated at tables, making new friends over food and drinks, is a clever tactic to create a happy buzz. We were then taken to 5 different venues around Nambour town centre, from C-Square to The Old Ambulance Station, with some vintage window shopping thrown in between. It’s a fun concept: eat, drink, window shop, be merry. And it should have worked.
Joanna Murray-Smith writes superbly well, and her script shone through, despite some unconvincing performances, and difficult locations. Seating was a problem in each of the five venues, with sightlines for anywhere but the front row often restricted. This needs to be considered even in non-theatre locations, and perhaps smaller audience numbers would have worked better. The lack of musical accompaniment resulted in disjointed singing. Candice Hill nailed her singing performance, but the others struggled. Musical accompaniment would have supported both the tone of the piece and the performers. The videos of Judy Garland and Maria Callas felt more effective in honouring the original artists rather than untrained and unaccompanied soloists.
It was clear that the performers had attempted to embrace the accents of the women, the ‘nobodies’ whose stories they performed. Rebekah Ferguson was almost perfection and completely believable with her Irish accent. Again, Hill shone. It’s a big ask to employ a vocal coach to train five different accents, but it would have lifted this work, and made the trek around Nambour so much more exciting.
What started as an exciting evening with so much promise quickly descended into the ordinary, though it ended strongly with Ferguson’s thoroughly engaging storytelling and believable character.