Her Majesty’s Theatre, Fri Jun 13
In whatever performance setting one has the privilege to witness Paul Capsis, he is an enigma. And he is brilliant. Capsis is a consummate and engaging performer, and instantly transfixes an audience with his talent, commitment, and captivating stage presence. He simply immerses himself in characters he portrays, or more accurately that which he allows, if not encourages, to envelope his being. Little Bird is not a traditional cabaret performance on any level; it is a mesmerising theatre experience with musical interludes of transfiguring emotional resonance.
Capsis tells the story of a child, a Little Bird, born into a loving, nuclear family of mum and dad who adore and cherish him. Their lives are happy and stable; but life does not allow stagnation, so upheaval inevitably occurs. Little Bird must adapt. He must find his place in the world. The journey for Little Bird is tumultuous, as all life journeys are, and along the path many connections are formed and insights gained. As he grows into a man Little Bird gradually learns to accept himself, and ultimately learns to forgive those who need forgiveness the most. In doing so he also learns to heal himself, and resolve the hurt and feelings of betrayal that have burdened him since childhood.
Capsis’ vocal abilities and character portrayal cannot be overstated. He can summon the delicate subtleties of the most effeminate female diva, and in the next breath will bring the essence and gruff manliness of the wildest rock superstar. The depth of both vocal and physical nuances in his challenging of entities for each character is quite extraordinary. Capsis is an enigma but only because it is not commonplace to be witness to such a spiritual and ethereal transformation.
The lighting and staging of Little Bird are minimalist and superb. Compositions by Cameron Goodall and Quentin Grant are a perfect vehicle for Capsis’ vocal expression, and the virtuosic musicians play an integral role in the success of the performance; Belinda Gehlert (Violin), Harley Gray (Double Bass), Dylan Woolcock (Guitars), Jonathan Sickerdick (Percussion) and Quentin Grant (Piano/Musical Director).
If you are still deciding which 2014 Cabaret Festival show to see, this world premier theatrical experience is the one! Little Bird is an exquisite feast for the senses!
by Jenna Bonavita
Paul Capsis performs Little Bird at Her Majesty’s Theatre until Fri Jun 22.