[WORLD PREMIERE ~ AUS ~ IF YOU LOVE… TO REMINISCE]
Space Theatre, Sun 9 Jun.
Amelia Ryan said to the late Frank Ford, Godfather of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, “Frank, I think I have an idea for a show – why don’t we showcase the incredible Australian female singers of the 1960s”… “Who…?” , “Exactly.” ~ and so this show was born
Amelia Ryan and Libby O’Donovan form a powerhouse duo in this fantastic exploration into 1960s Australia, women’s rights and the movements that changed the course of life and music in Australia.
Taking inspiration from Merel Thornton and Rosalie Bognor who, in 1965 chained themselves to a public bar and asked for a beer, they take us on a journey using songs of incredible women like Little Pattie, Betty McQuade, Lynne Randell, Dinah Lee, and Jeannie Lewis; exploring the life, times and influences on women through the ‘50s and ‘60s and beyond, and how this helped shape Australia (and the Australian music industry) as we know it today.
Libby O’Donovan lived up to her reputation as a ‘powerful and sassy performer’. Her rendition of Wendy Saddington’s Backlash Blues rocked my soul and made me desperate to learn more about this Australian blues and jazz singer; and the depth and passion embodied in her version of A Man’s World saw the room erupt in applause.
Amelia Ryan took much of the narrative, delivering this story with well-timed comic precision, but reverence for the underlying importance of the message. Her melodic but strong voice carried beautifully above the five-piece backing band that brought their own vibrancy and flair to the performance. Ryan’s rendition of Lynne Randell’s Heart was truly stunning. Her palpable frustration at the injustice for women in this era, but hope for the future resonated strongly with me as she lead us on a journey through the decades.
Comic and sharp wit, blended with powerful performances made this an outstanding event, well deserved of its standing ovation from the sold out crowd. For many this will be a nostalgic trip back to carefree summer days and incredible pop and rock of the ages. For the rest of us, do yourself a favour and get an education, because these phenomenal Australian female pop and rock icons need to be heard and loved!
Unsung continues at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, from 3pm until Mon 10 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Claudio Raschella