Claire Healy fought a good fight against the torrential rain and weather madness outside the Melba Spiegeltent. While at times it sounded like it was going to lift the building up and fling us to Oz, Claire and her band did well for most part to play and be heard above it – although perhaps keeping the non-amplified number in the set with the belligerent noise outside, considering at least half the audience could only faintly hear the ukulele but certainly none of the lyrics, was a misstep.
The band were excellent, but superfluous in a way. Claire’s show was clearly written for one and – in this iteration – felt more suited for a space like The Butterfly Club than the larger Carnevale aesthetic of the Spiegeltent surrounds.
If Claire keeps these musicians by her side, there’s the potential for something unique and even more charming to be discovered, but the script will need to be broadened. Ultimately, she has buckets of charisma and talent and when she reaches out with her beautiful voice the audience are onside and the rain doesn’t matter.
Something ecstatic charges the air and it feels like magic, before Claire plays a final, funny, wee game with the audience and we make our way outside into an unforgiving night of wind and wet.
Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Performance: Thursday 7 December 2017 – 7.30pm
Image: Claire Healy – photo by James Penlidis
Review: David Collins