Bird in the Gilded Cage
Pieta Farrell @ The Birdcage
10:00pm, Thu 11 Mar 2010
Look, I’ll be dead honest here. I’m typing this on the first day of February, 2011, around 326 days after seeing this performance. And, aside from a handful of notes about this performance, I cannot remember a thing about it.
Now – normally this is not the case. Usually, my notes act as prompts for more memories to come forth; I start expanding on one note, and the memories come flooding back, allowing me to revisit the performance in question and write some more. I like doing things like that (though usually in a more timely manner); it’s like I get to experience bits of the show twice.
Not this time, though. Let’s see what we can manage, though.
Pieta Farrell – Madam P in the performer’s circle – reminds me of Moira Finucane’s Victoriana (from 2006’s The Burlesque Hour); white-faced, almost ghostly, and dressed like a stiff widow. She’s accompanied by a violinist (who, I do recall, was pretty bloody good), along with a few loops and pedals to dirty up the musical backdrop. There’s a very burlesque semi-strip and dance, a lot of clambering and somersaulting and swinging around a suspended birdcage, and a coin-operated boy.
See all that? That was basically my notes thrown together.
But there is another little note that sparked a recollection: there was a lull in proceedings, presumably whilst a costume change was taking place. The violinist strikes up a tune; in the absence of anyone else, we focus on her. The lull carries on, the music is mesmerising… when suddenly, a character comes screaming into the space, jolting the audience like we’d been slapped.
But that’s it; that’s all I’ve got.
Look, I’m sorry this isn’t more detailed; it’s not because Bird in the Gilded Cage was a bad show, by any means (otherwise I would’ve remembered it clearly. I’m masochistic like that). But nothing stuck, and my notes didn’t spark like they usually do. Sorry.