cabaret: bernadette robinson - songs for nobodies

adelaide cabaret festival - bernadette robinson - songs for nobodies
From the first moment of Songs for Nobodies, Bernadette Robinson captures your attention and holds it right until the final moment.

And portraying ten different characters, five ordinary women and the iconic female singers they each have a connection/encounter with, she does it flawlessly.

And the ten characters are all completely individual... it's enough that she can sing like Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas, but to be able to embody both those amazing women as well as the five nobodies of the title is amazing.

The two most outstanding sections were the Piaf and Holiday segments. Not only because of the way she sang, but those particular stories were my favourites. But the entire show was wonderful.

And I never knew that Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash, or that Piaf helped to free prisioners from the Nazis.

The writing by Joanna Murray-Smith is wonderful... the five female characters that we meet are each perfectly formed, even if they're only on stage for about 15 minutes or so... but it's Robinson's performances that really shine.

The musical numbers are likewise wonderfully performed. As I mentioned, Robinson sings in each of the women's voices, although I think the most amazing transformation is when she sings as Billie Holiday... when I closed my eyes, she just sounded like a jazz singer from the 40's.

I didn't always recognise the songs, although she did perform Piaf's signature song, Non, je ne regrette rien.

All in all, a very powerful one woman show, and one that fully deserved the standing ovation she received from the audience.

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