Melbourne Fringe – Elizabeth

Melb Fringe Elizabeth Lisa Crawley - photo by Ben MastwykElizabeth, written by Lisa Crawley and Rochelle Bright, is a delicate cabaret and love story, with recollections of what it’s like to play late-night piano for various hotel bars.

Lisa plays Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s playing would normally go unnoticed to a certain degree, referring to it herself as “Musical wallpaper”. However, during tonight’s ‘set’, the audience are absolutely present. Over the hour she talks about her experiences, the characters she’s met, and the consequences of falling in love.

The storytelling is flawless, dialogue broken up by stunning fragments of original music and song. There’s a lovely number 8 wire feel to when she samples herself (the audience, too, at the end) and loops it in front of us, helping to lend everything a captivating sense of authenticity.

That said, it’s not all original content. Lisa asks for requests from the audience two times during the show. The first is fun and played easily. The second is forlorn, yet fascinating to watch her recall.

Anchor me by the Mutton Birds!”

“Oh. Yeah.”

She pauses, only briefly, for it to come to mind. Anchor me, anchor me. In the middle of your deep blue sea. Anchor me, anchor…

Her playing is rudimentary the first time round, but with each pass of the refrain the sound gets richer, deeper, and it’s made a home inside your chest. The conclusion to the story Elizabeth has been telling will remain unspoken, but the heartache is palpable.

Indeed, this exquisite show has so many moments of beauty that it’s impossible to walk up the stairs from the venue without leaving a little piece of your own heart behind.

Elizabeth
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Performance: Wednesday 21 September 2017 – 8.30pm
Season continues to 24 September 2017
Information and Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Image: Lisa Crawley – photo by Ben Mastwyk

Review: David Collins

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