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Auckland Fringe 09
Bob Geldof Live

at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 28 Feb 2009 to 1 Mar 2009
[30 mins]

Reviewed by Kate Ward-Smythe, 2 Mar 2009

Bob Geldof - Live features 25 minutes of direct poetry and tales written and read by established New Zealand actress Danielle Cormack and accompanied by Jonny Brugh on guitar.

The experience is revealing, unnerving and honest: Bob would be proud. Hopefully D&J will build on this short two-night late-night Fringe Festival offering, and take it further.

She, dressed in a stunning blood red dress and he, in a fine suit & tie, walk on to a bare Basement stage looking smart and proper. For a moment I wonder if I'm in for a recital. But there's something about his shoes and her eyes that reveals it will be a far more open ride.

Danielle launches into 'This Is Not', a poem about what the poem is not about, and brilliantly illuminates the commonality of our collective experience. Her delivery and timing, is exquisite. Each stanza is so frank and yet so true.  There's nowhere to hide for the reader or the receiver.

I did wonder, later, if the duo should be renamed "This Is Not Bob Geldof Live" in order to avoid any legal action (Intellectual Property, "passing off"....).

Reaching down to Jonny's second guitar Danielle plucks one note heavy with distortion and segues into her second contribution. As Jonny executes a killer riff, the safety chains on the Basement's lighting rig begin to vibrate and ring, and Danielle rips into 'God', a nail-biting sexy edgy experience fuelled by an encounter in a burger bar. I felt the final bite was lost as the levels favoured guitar over voice, even if that was the intention.

As the 'Electronic Wolf' (Danielle's fitting name for Jonny) takes a break and creates a new mood with candles, Danielle shares a story of simple childhood expectation and excitement turning into a cataclysm. Again she captures so easily an experience we've all been through.

After a few truths about her designer dress, Danielle's final tale of glitter pens, goats, kleptomania and ultimate control in the big red shed, is a disturbing yet stunning creation from an extraordinary mind.

Danielle, supported by Jonny, illuminates a great deal in a short space of time. I really don't know how much is based on reality, how much is fancy, and how much is fused from the anecdotes of friends and strangers. But I am very glad I made the effort to get to the Basement at 10.15pm on Sunday night for a bit of grit and honest bite.
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