Joni Mitchell’s Daughter

Joni Mitchell’s Daughter
Hartstone-Kitney Productions. Adelaide Fringe. Black Box Theatre. March 8 & 9, 2020

Canadian singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell emerged at a time when the world was trying to find peace amongst political chaos and war. Perhaps that is why we can still relate to the musings of this deep-thinking songstress. Her songs hold true today, because of her lyrics and stripped back interpretations.

Joanne Hartstone and Tom Kitney formed production company Hartstone-Kitney Productions  in 2017. With a wealth of experience, they did well to source the perfect venue for their latest collaboration. The Black Box Theatre is located within the Adelaide Botanical Gardens and carries with it a peaceful ambience perfect for this production.

Delia Olam is the perfect chanteuse to bring the music of Joni Mitchell to life, however this is not merely a tribute, Olam takes us on an emotional journey that tugs at the heart strings.

In February 1965 Mitchell gave birth to a daughter. Young, poor and unable to provide the care needed, she made the heartbreaking decision to put her child up for adoption. Through Mitchell’s music, Olam tells Joni's story and fills in the blanks with her own rhetoric.

Olam is masterful at interpreting the emotional depth required to do Mitchell’s music justice. It is an intimate portrayal that is honest and thought-provoking. Her unique voice is not unlike her subject, but mimicry was not the goal. Her interpretation of folk anthems, such as "Big Yellow Taxi" and the poignant ballad written for Mitchell's daughter, "Little Green" were simply breath-taking.

Olam is a fantastic storyteller; her voice and guitars were all that was needed to portray the innocence and resilience of Mitchell. An interesting take on audience participation was creative and thought-provoking. 

Lighting designer Tom Kitney did a beautiful job in creating an aura perfect for this intimate show.

This production is not merely for the fans. The background Olam provides and her beautiful vocals can only create new admirers of the music of Joni Mitchell.

Kerry Cooper

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