Above The Arts, London
At London’s Above the Arts Theatre and for one night only, Kira Morsley was on top form during her solo cabaret show, telling a packed audience of how she accidentally became a feminist.
The Offie-nominated vocal powerhouse took to the stage for over an hour, delighting with anecdotes from her childhood growing up in Australia, of being bullied, working in an industry where image is important, and her experiences of being a woman. Now she’s a feminist who takes pride in her appearance, who loved both My Little Pony and Transformers as a child and didn’t realise there were differences between men and women (besides the obvious) until she was in her teens.
Accompanied by musical director Rhiannon Drake on keyboard, Morsley’s song choices neatly accompanied her tales and featured a number of showtunes including There Are Worse Things I Could Do from Grease; Little Known Facts from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (used to describe “mansplaining”) and amusingly The Internet Is For Porn from Avenue Q, to reinforce how the media defines what is considered sexy. She also took inspiration from Sara Bareilles, performing King Of Anything and the inspiring Brave.
A highlight of the evening was Waving Through a Window from Dear Evan Hansen, performed so beautifully and emotively that the audience were in need of the interval that followed to compose themselves. Morsley was pitch perfect throughout the show and it is clear to see that she belongs on stage.
“Women are speaking out and we’re actually getting heard,” Morsley said towards the end of her performance. And while the show was for the most part very well directed by Geri Allen, it might perhaps have benefited from a few more anecdotes from Morsley's life and her actual experiences with feminism.
The evening was inspirational, seeing a successful production from a woman who is clearly comfortable in her own skin.Having once wanted to be a surgeon, Morsley admitted that that choice would have led her into a predominantly male profession. Thankfully, what might have been the world of medicine’s loss has been musical theatre’s gain.
Reviewed by Kirsty Herrington