Dunstan Playhouse, Sun Jun 8
Rachael Beck appears onstage a vision in red sequins, asking us, the audience – do we know who she is? She queries this throughout her show through song, various reflections and in such a way, that one finds themselves pondering our own identities.
Her travels through her days as a child star in Cats, appearances in Les Misérables, Beauty And The Beast and most recently Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, all form a melting pot of tales we are invited to hear about, from her Eisteddfod days singing Sesame Street’s The Count, her musical childhood and her successful foray into television with shows such as Hey Dad and It Takes Two.
It is the music however, that makes this performance special. Beck’s sublime voice carries beautifully through the theatre accompanied by her backing quartet of drums, upright bass, guitar and piano. A brief visit onstage by friend and musical colleague Michael McCormick lends itself to a couple of duets and the beautiful friendship the two obviously share is touching to witness and manifested through their shared voice.
Beck has a classy yet modest stage set and a simple change in dress shifts the mood of the show to accentuate the flow of her story and the details of her musical life. The monologue is self-reflective and one gets the feeling that she has written this to declare a new state of being for herself and the opportunity to create a blank page for herself as a woman, mother and performer. It is honest, refreshing and at times humorous to see the facets of her personality and to hear about her dalliances musically. We are treated to classics such as I Dreamed A Dream, Send In The Clowns and Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill.
Knowing that Beck has enjoyed the labours of telemarketing, witnessing and unemployment like the rest of us creates a shared sense of camaraderie in the room as she concludes her show with an extremely gracious presences and acknowledgment of her band, something other artists could take note of.
A thoughtful insight into the journey we all undergo of wondering who we are, and the longevity of the wait to discover ourselves.
by Siân Williams
Rachael Beck performs This Girl at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, until Mon Jun 9.