Girl Talk - Perthshire Advertiser
30 May 2006Perthshire Advertiser
The vivacious Girl Talk performed their light-hearted mixture of cabaret and comedy to an enthusiastic Perth audience on the opening night of the Perth Festival of the Arts.
Mari Wilson, Claire Martin and Barb Jungr told a series of musical tales exploring the role of women today, taking in relationships, heartache, make-up and gin on their journey through the politically incorrect songs of yesteryear.
Claire Martin offered her views on supermodels (they look ridiculous), Mari Wilson took viewers back to her childhood in the sixties (advocaat on a side trolley to be brought out once a year at Christmas) and Barb Jungr mugged mercilessly and shamelessly plugged the trio's CD.
Some highlights of the set were Stephen Sondheim's "I Feel Pretty", with an overstated dance routine and fixed grins and Charlene's number one hit of 1982, I've Never Been to Me performed with a deliciously satirical edge.
There were also several perfectly-pitched capella numbers, including Burt Bacharach's "Wishin' and Hopin'". All three women have recorded solo material of genres ranging from jazz to soul, but also shine when singing in harmony with one another.
Audience members sang along and clapped in time as the group gently mocked some of their favourite songs from throughout the 20th century. They were ably accompanied on piano by the very talented Adrian York, previously a member of 1980s pop band Roman Holliday and now a sought-after composer, performer and lecturer in his own right.
In the hands of less talented performers, some of the material might have fallen flat, but fortunately these women had comic timing, vocal talent and perhaps most significantly, infectious enthusiasm for their material.
Barb Jungr's renditions of Twinkle's 1964 hit "Terry" and Tammy Wynette's hilariously camp "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." were simply overflowing with charisma and accompanied by spirited comic actions, whilst Claire Martin's melodramatic take on "It Should Have Been Me" has really to be seen to be believed.
The set was simple, with only a few props such as furry handbags and a broom. The act relied primarily on the personality of the performers, who encouraged their audience to participate in the show and experience the festival spirit.
Martin's repeated appeals to the stalls to "vent your spleen, Perth!" were met with reservation at first, but were soon taken up as the front row called out the names of celebrities who irritate them.
The show clearly struck a chord with a predominantly female audience, talking about real experiences and taking a no nonsense attitude to food, relationships and life in general.
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