ED2014 3/5 Reviews ED2014 Music Reviews

Mata Hari In Eight Bullets (Onalea Gilbertson)

By | Published on Friday 22 August 2014

I didn’t actually count the bullets in this production, but they made me jump every time they punctuated this sad tale. The story of this modern song cycle is that WW1 spy Mata Hari was innocent, had a wretched life and was abandoned finally to the firing squad by the influential men she bedded. Gilbertson plays this brittle and abused woman convincingly, she sings well and was accompanied attentively and sensitively by her pianist. The burlesque-style physicality of the performance was appropriate to the lyrics, bringing life to the tale of this dancer and courtesan. At times I felt the performers were better than their material, however: tragedy demands good tunes and on this hearing I couldn’t pick one out.

Acoustic Music Centre @ St Brides, until 23 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Louise Rodgers]