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Image: Amy Williams

4 stars

Review by Laura Money

Walking into the intimate space of The Blue Room Theatre is always a pleasantly surprising experience as it is such a versatile space. This time it is transformed into soft-lighted cabaret style bar complete with small red-clothed tables as the audience seating, complete with soft guitar strumming coming from the corner. All of the actors are on “stage” as the bar is the setting. Songbird tells the story of Brooke, Leon and Mike who were inseparable in their formative teenage years until Mike’s tragic, untimely death.

Years later, Leon bumps into Brooke again in his hometown pub. It seems an innocent and chance enough meeting on the surface s they reminisce and laugh together but it is obvious that something had happened between the pair in the past. Bethany Cooper, Zao James, and James Taylor are flawless as they vacillate between scenes of the past and Brooke and Leon’s present meeting in the pub.

Songbird is a haunting and beautiful lesson in love, camaraderie, deep affection and connection. It is about forging intense relationships and the strong emotions that align with that. It features live songs that are heartfelt and irreverent and are guaranteed to elicit tingles. Cooper’s voice is sweet and soulful and the sentiment behind the songs create an emotionally rich experience.

This is not Shakara Watley (Director) and Yirra Yaakin’s first collaboration with The Blue Room Theatre and it shows. The show is slick, professional and, more importantly, intimate and relatable. It speaks of the fine line between curiosity, anger and forgiveness and it will make you want to go home and hug your loved ones tighter.

Songbird played at The Blue Room Theatre, Perth from the 7th – 18th July 2015.