Expressivo (Performance Reviews)

REVIEW: CHRYSALIS (Cabaret)

Megan Doherty returns to the Adelaide Fringe having written a new show about transformation, realisations, and personal growth.

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Megan Doherty. Photo supplied.

Sitting in the audience of Doherty’s cabaret felt like reading the pages of her diary. She shared very personal experiences about her travels overseas during the last two years.

Opening with “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Breakaway”, Doherty explored the often dichotomised lives artists lead having to choose between their artistic vocation and the ‘real job’. She cited George Seurat as an example of this before she sang the Sondheim classic, “Finishing the Hat”.

With Emma Knights on keyboard, Doherty shared a tale of broken trust, expectations, love, and her art. The conversational, laid-back style of her performance suited the venue. Her lyrical soprano shone in cadenzas and when she surrendered to the song, she was right in her element.

Given the raw emotions attached to her recent plight, there were moments of fragility, and by her own admission, her new show was not quite polished. What was striking about this show was her honesty with her audience. She acknowledged the creative support Knights offered and described how she was encouraged to return to the stage.

Artists often wear their hearts on their sleeves, and her struggle as an artist resonated with me. However, she only scratched the surface of her story and never gave away enough to completely piece it all together.

I was witness to a courageous artist who used the stage as her confessional. She pieced herself together song by song as if her cabaret was her own music therapy. Songs such as “Don’t Rain On My Parade” and “Hope” showcased her resilience. For this reason, the title of her show was befitting of her performance, and I look forward to seeing the butterfly emerge.

Rating ☆☆☆1/2

Reviewed performance: 25 February 2018

megandoherty.com.au

Season Closed
Venue: Vines Room, National Wine Centre

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