03 April 2013

MICF revisit review: Choir Girl

MICF 2013
Choir Girl
Attic Erratic
1 April 2013
8 and 15 April

I saw Choir Girl for the third time on Monday. And I'd consider a fourth visit.

I adore this show and wanted to see how a season at the Adelaide Fringe and performing in a 250+ seat venue has changed it.

Here's my review from last year's Melbourne Fringe. It was my favourite show of that festival.

It's so lovely to be in the head of someone who is as unlikeable as choir girl Susan and the choir is one of the best used choruses since the ancient Greeks thought it a good idea to put society's voice in the arena.

I love seeing how shows develop. One of the advantages of theatre is that you can change the show and fix those things that don't become obvious until an audience points them out to you.

Sarah Collins's writing voice is still as unique and personal as ever (and one that makes me want to write more than reviews), and Sarah and director Celeste Cody have worked to tighten up the story and take away any doubt about what really happened that night at choir practice. The gorgeous choir is also bigger and grander, which lets Susan's story be as grand and important as it is in her head.

If you've ever been in a choir, this is your Comedy Festival show. If you've ever been kicked out of a choir, book to see it twice. I was sitting near women who were in pain because they didn't want to laugh out loud as they recognised the world.

If you haven't been in a choir, don't worry. Choir Girl reaches well beyond the choir world (and, yes, it IS like this) and tells a dark and sad story of loneliness and out-of-reach friendship that touches our hearts because it's told with the kind of love and empathy that never leaves Susan without hope.

Or go because Sarah Collins decided to write the exact kind of show she wanted to perform. And she nails it. I can't imagine anyone else performing one of her shows, but I'd like to see it happen, if only to allow her to see how her writing isn't just for her.

There are two more performances of Choir Girl on Monday 8 and Monday 15 April. As so many shows take Mondays off, it's a brilliant choice of night and you'll still be home in time for QandA.

If this week's performance was anything to go by, you're going to have to book. It's a big room, but was full to bursting on Monday.

There are plenty of terrific international and national performers in town, but don't miss Melbourne's home grown shows and please don't miss Choir Girl.

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