By Jennifer Hocking
Ably aided and abetted by a band (composed of Owen Hopwood, Vaughan Beaver, and Peter Forgus) The Zoo Keeper (Claire Coleman) led her ‘menagerie’ of enthusiastic singers through eight beautifully arranged indie-pop homages.
Fresh arrangements with A cappella sections, harmonies and vigour (there was definitely vigour!), captivated the audience in this short, but heart warming performance.
Each song was introduced by a true story told with wit and pride. In every case the strength that the ‘menagerier’ had gained from being a part of this glorious choir, and from the song itself, was evident in the timing, theatricality and confidence with which the story was told.
These stories of self-doubt, depression, love, passion and pain were chosen out of many submitted for the show, and told how a song had got people through, saying the words that ‘sometimes it’s so hard to say for ourselves’.
Stringing all of these very different tales together was the unquestionable positivity of each of them, as though the song had reached inside and pulled out the happy ending that is sometimes hidden from view by cloudy events.
The spirit of Coleman was self evident with such a large and well-rehearsed choir, and came to light when she made us all giggle with her audience participation encore. All I can say is The Beach Boys never sounded so good!
Thank you, truly to The Menagerie for ‘This Is My Song’, it was wonderful!
‘This Is My Song’ has one remaining show on Saturday 15th February, 6:30PM @ Teatro, Perth Cultural Centre (as part of The Fringe).
Check out www.menageriechoir.weebly.com to find out more about the choir.