FINDING MY VOICE – KATHERINE TURNER

23 Apr

Katherine Turner****
At the other Palace
Katherine Turner is a familiar face to everyone who ever goes to the movies. Here she is in person. A big personality, a Goddess in flowing black trousers and backed by brilliant musical director Mark Jasan at the grand piano plus base and guitar. A perfect combination. The lighting at the Other Palace is fantastic and she is shown in a most favourable light. She is a gal who is proud of being herself so she needs to feel relaxed in her situation.
She is a lady of extreme intelligence. She comes from an unusually varied background. Her father was a diplomat and she had moved all across the world before she started her formal education. She has a very strong personal and political conscience and the second half of her show shows this perfectly, beginning with ‘Buddy can you Spare a Dime’ a song from the twenties, which , sadly has become relevant today. She sings this to break your heart and she follows this with ‘You’ve got to be carefully taught’ from South Pacific. the Hammerstein plea for religious and colour tolerance.
She tells us she gets told to start at the top and begins with ‘Who knows where or When’ and follows this quickly with another piece of audience flattery ‘Let’s fall in love’
The first half is beautifully organised. Telling amusing theatrical stories in her deep famously gravelly voice and allowing them to lead into songs like ‘pick yourself up, start all over again’
Many people expect their cabaret stars to sing in a fashionable style. But her voice just doesn’t lend itself that way. Her voice resembles an old gravel pathway, but it is far more expressive than that of someone who just sings without making complete sense of the lyrics. She is a great actress, not a singer
She tells us of her terrible illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis and her years of being confined to a wheelchair. She thought this would be to the end of her life until she found a man who was working on a miracle cure, and though it took a lot of strength and stamina, she got herself cured and after a couple of years she managed to get over here to appear in The Graduate.
The theatre is her world and makes it obvious with songs like ‘Any place I hang my hat is home” and of course “Send in the Clowns.’ Here she exposes her heart and her brain to us. It doesn’t matter for a moment that her singing voice is a croak. In addition to being a Goddess, a politician and a trifle scary, she is vastly entertaining

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