Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Galah Galah

Don’t miss this very funny, honest and revealing one woman cabaret show

Don’t miss this very funny, honest and revealing one woman cabaret show

Presented by: Mover’s Call Theatre Company

Reviewed: 2 March, 2024

I was totally engaged by Gemma Caruana’s one woman show Galah Galahwhich was partly financed by a grant from the Mental Health Commissioner’s Performers Grant. 

Directed by Sarah Frencham, with sound by Sam Roberts, the cabaret style show where she speaks and sings about her own mental health issues succeeds in being incredibly funny, while also touching and thought provoking. 

We hear about how the expectations of her family plus the overly ambitious goals she sets for herself, combine to raise her anxiety to stratospheric levels resulting in panic attacks.

We are treated to slides of the young Gemma involved in numerous activities and see her participating in Auskick, where she wears a Port jersey with Crows socks in her ongoing effort to please both her parents.

The show’s title comes from the nickname Gemma was given by her Maltese grandfather as she was always talking. No doubt it was originally intended as a term of endearment, but as she grew older, Gemma became increasingly aware of the other, more negative connotations of the noisy parrot’s name.

Gemma has a powerful voice which she uses to great effect in challenging some patriarchal views on women and their place in society. In We Will Not Be Ignored she sings about women being encouraged to be quiet, to not take up too much room and generally being pushed aside. Once again, she manages to combine humour with serious issues.

The performance draws the audience in to empathise, and for some, to identify with Gemma and her struggles to achieve her goals/dreams in spite of mental health issues. It’s heartening to see a young performer who is confident enough to share how she deals with her own mental health difficulties. A very telling comment is that she, and in fact all of us, are constantly under construction as we deal with life’s vicissitudes.

There are no spoilers here but be prepared for a surprising final number in this thoroughly entertaining cabaret show.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Venue: The Chapel at The Courtyard of Curiosities at the Migration Museum
Season: Until 17 March, 2024
Duration: 55 mins
Tickets: $25 to $28

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