Women performing light up Adelaide scene

Wednesday, March 4, 1992

By Barb Kempnich

ADELAIDE — The city's newest women's venue, the Red Shed, will present its next Women Performing on Friday, March 13, at 8 p.m. Among the performers will be Dani Burbrook singing original music of a contemporary flavour, award-winning Melbourne comic Sue-Ann Post and local band Outa Bounz, taking advantage of the opportunity to play a style of music different from its usual dance material.

If you weren't at Women Performing on January 24, then somebody's already told you what a great night you missed. More than 150 women turned out for the first Women Performing. The atmosphere was fantastic and the entertainment was superb.

Read Our Lips, Adelaide's own lesbian choir, started the evening off in great style. If they didn't have a fan club when they arrived, they certainly do now. When Sue Galbraith opened her mouth to sing you could have heard a pin drop — the audience were entranced and quite rightly demanded more.

Carol Mayersbach's poetry cut close to the bone but added a touch of humour. And they were just the floor spots!

Jenny Clark finished off the first half off the evening accompanied by her menagerie of instruments. She sang some brilliant original songs (and others), and played two sets of foot-stomping Scottish tunes on the cittern (an overgrown mandolin) and dulcimer (how does she get a stringed instrument to sound like bagpipes?).

After a break, Archipelago's renditions of songs of justice and freedom were greeted with stunned silence but immense delight. The audience couldn't stop screaming for more. And no wonder — the harmonies were breathtaking, the material superb — what a find!

Next, Mij Tanith (ably assisted in parts by Di Franklin) read some recent works. Her wicked sense of timing lent an element of suspense to her novel-in-progress and this was also reflected in some clever dialogue from a recent play. Looks like Mij might have sold a few advance copies of that novel.

The Raging Harpies finished off the night with some lovely Celtic music, and it looks like people were prepared to stay for as long as the entertainment continued.

Women Performing is a great boost for Adelaide, not only for performers, but also for women who want a different sort of night out. It provides the opportunity for diverse types of performance to take place under the same roof.

The venture has been set up primarily as a way to provide a platform for both experienced performers and beginners. Beginners can develop their skills by doing 10-minute floor spots — short enough to be not too intimidating, but long enough to get a feel for what it's like to get up in front of an audience. The floor spots also provide more experienced women with the opportunity to try out new material, new line-ups, new types of performance.

The other agenda is to try to pay booked artists a realistic remuneration for their work, which recognises the skill and hard work involved in performing at a professional standard. Finally, the audience gets a fantastic night's entertainment for a very low price and in a central location.

Anyone interested in performing should contact PO Box 107, Littlehampton SA 5250. The Red Shed is at Cardwell and Angas Streets, City.

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