Fringe Review: The Hummingbird Effect

This  beautifully put-together show is absolutely what cabaret should be.


Presented by Caught & Spark Productions (Deborah Brennan)
Reviewed 28th  February 2018

One of the highlights of my Fringe last year, was Deb Brennan’s wonderful show A Case of You, which was built around the songs and life of Joni Mitchell.

This year, Ms Brennan has brought us her own life, woven around the wonderful concept of the Hummingbird effect.

Opening with some atmospheric chords on the piano, smoke, dream-catchers and a Native American legend, Brennan proceeded to take the audience on a journey with her, through some seminal moments in her life, and a prophetic and life-changing meeting. Episodes of the story were intertwined with her extraordinary interpretations of a fascinating half-dozen songs: Sweet Dreams, Comfortably Numb, In the Air Tonight, Under the Milky Way, A Case of You and Heroes.

Deborah Brennan is a natural story-teller. She is open, authentic and engaging with her audience. One could happily listen to her all night, just telling stories. But when this woman sits down to the piano and sings: oh my!
She is surely one of the best singers of her kind in Australia. A sweet, clear but powerful soprano is emboldened with gutsy, almost visceral, interpretations that sound like nobody else.  She is utterly unapologetic when she sings, giving total respect to the music, yet never doubting her own right to be at the table with these artists.

This  beautifully put-together show is absolutely what cabaret should be. Brennan segued between speaking and singing; between story and song; yet the two melded together into one narrative. There was not a missed beat in either.

Sadly, she only did two shows, and this was the last one. And even more sadly, for Adelaide, Ms Brennan is off to reside in the UK very soon, although she may be back next year with another, show. If she is, then don’t hesitate to get a ticket.

Meanwhile, bon voyage and best of luck, Deb!

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten

Rating out of 5: 5

Venue:  Queen’s Theatre at The Lab
Season:  Finished
Duration:  60 minutes

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