Au Cause Célèbre

Au Cause Célèbre
Presented by Ms CeCe Rockefeller. Musical Director: Shanon D. Whitelock. Midsumma Festival 2018. Brunswick Mechanics Institute, 270 Sydney Rd, Brunswick. 25-27 January & 31 January - 3 February 2018.

This sultry performance by writer and performer Christopher Fieldus is evocative of a bygone era of cabaret performance. Accompanied by the talented cellist Claire Abougelis, Ms CeCe tells the tale of Cecilia’s tragic experience of love and loss. The story is woven through an eclectic collection of narrative, poetry and song and produces a highly nostalgic and melancholic mood.

The story revolves around Cecilia’s first love which tragically unfolds in the wake of her sister's disappearance and results in disgrace, heartbreak and devastation. The quality of Ms CeCe’s voice is legendary with a remarkable capacity to drift across vastly contrasting notes that likens her voice to performers such as Kate Bush and James Blake. The quality of the singing is frequently alluring and well on the way to developing a very original and precise sound.

Many of the songs are well chosen, both in terms of driving the narrative and capturing the unique quality of Ms CeCe’s voice, and are all delivered with great poise. Ms CeCe seems less comfortable with the staging and her interactions with the minimalist set and props. Her movement is not always as fluid as the musical performance and her gestures sometimes seem a little disconnected from the beguiling nature of the sounds she creates. Nonetheless, Au Cause Célèbre results in a worthwhile and intriguing piece of theatre.

Patricia Di Risio

Photographer: Kieran Mcnamara

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