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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 9, 2008 @ 12:32 pm


    Fiona McCann

    The problem with the Fringe is that there’s so much going on, you just can’t take it all in. That said, it was a real oversight to allow an evening’s rest to get in the way of last night’s Songs That Scare Children by the wondrous Cathy Davey. Anyone catch it?

    • An Fear Bolg says:

      It was pretty bad. A few very pleasant pieces but, on the whole, it was amateur and screamed of insufficient rehearsal.

      It seems they were far too ambitious with this one and a lot of prominence was given to some mediocre unknowns. Cathy Davey, Lisa Hannigan and Conor O’Brien were excellent, but brief, interludes from a show that otherwise struggled to justify the asking price (albeit relatively low).

    • Gary Lennon says:

      For myself and most people in the audience we assumed it was a Cathy Davey gig with a few guests popping in. However, it was in fact a collection of singers, with Cathy being just one of them. This would have really grated if not for the wonderful standard of the other acts. Lisa Hannigan, Cathy Davey and Connor O’Brien as mentioned in a previous post were wonderful as was the MC who added much to the proceedings. David Turpin was quite poor though. How any pro can mess up the magic that is Tainted love is beyond me. He doesn’t have the voice or presence to carry the persona he tries to portray. That said it was a wonderful nights entertainment. I am sure if they were to do more gigs it would improve just doing one was a waste of their energies.

    • Pandemic says:

      I thought the show was great..even though I was not that scared, it is rare to see such great musicians perform in such a setting..

    • kDamo says:

      I think that’s a very unfair appraisal of the show. To call that insufficiently rehearsed is just not true. The performances were bang on right across the board and the flow of the entire evening was perfect. This was no easy task, considering the interchanging line-up of at least 10, possibly 12 performers. The planning that went into the show was evident to anyone who paid attention. The set, costumes, lighting etc were all equaly well thought out and complimented their choice of songs well. The performances were far more cabaret than scary, but there were no children there that I saw, so that hardly matters.
      It was abvious that the majority of the people there were there to see Cathy & Lisa. And in fairness, between the three people you mentioned, you’re talking about 60% of the show, not brief interludes. And to call fantastic performers like Carla Gallagher “mediocre unknowns” is terribly narrow-minded. People like David Turpin might not be to everyone’s taste, but the quality of the ensemble performances of each song seemed to win over the crowd with ease.
      All in all, I think it was well worth the time, money and effort of the punters and it will be interesting to see if the Wilde On show will go as well.

    • Michael says:

      Obviously An Fear Bolg has some personal problems with the performance as this is the exact same comment as he left on Jim Carroll’s blog earlier today.

      I was at the show and thought it was great. No, it was not the best thing I have ever seen or heard but it was ambitious and imaginative and all those things you’d expect from the Fringe. Brave to Cathy Davey for trying it out – I hope she will give it another go in the future

    • Aoife says:

      I must disagree with An Fear Bolg. I had a great evening – no better way to spend a Monday night. Apart from the late start, it was a great show. Laid back, with great talent on display. Conor O’Brien almost made me cry with his beautiful rendition of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” and Carla Gallagher’s voice was to die for. From start to finish there was a smile on my face. Excellent compere. Wonderful talent. You just felt that this was a group of talented friends who got together to entertain us and each other. This is what the Fringe is about.

    • An Fear Bolg says:

      Apologies for having an opinion not in line with the rest of you.

      You must be right kDamo, I wasn’t paying attention so I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about.

      I did leave the same comment on Jim’s blog as I wasn’t aware of this one and wanted to see what people thought/if anyone else thought it was a bit shoddy. Obviously no one agrees with me, and that’s fine. Don’t see why this means I have “personal problems” though – don’t let my comments detract from your enjoyment.

      Enjoy your echo chamber folks!

    • Fiona says:

      Janey Mac, now I’m REALLY sorry I missed it.

    • I thought the gig was amazing. The Fringe Festival is all about promoting arts that are a little left of centre, and I think Cathy and her guests really put on a gig that took the stale gig format and did something different with it.
      I thought the MC’s (Butcher Cuddy) injection of theatre and black humour was fantastic and highly entertaining.
      Highlights for me, was Ms Hannigan’s uniquely Hanniganised version of “The Lady is at tramp” and Conor O Brien’s contributions were pretty incredible. I really hope he does something soon.
      Can’t see were Fear Bolg is coming from with the under-rehearsed thing? i thought it ran very smoothly and everyone played great.
      I don’t know about scaring children, but David Turpin frightened the shite out of me! he was great!
      I had an absolute ball.
      Thank you Ms Davey.

    • An Fear Bolg says:

      Lady is a Tramp was very good, Conor O’Brien was excellent.

      I know most people seem to disagree, but I thought the MC bit was forced and not very good at all. The crowd liked it though, so there you go.

      The scaring children thing seemed irrelevant – this is not a criticism of the performances but I don’t see what the title really had to do with it.

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