ReviewTheatre

Theatre – Barbara and the Camp Dogs [2019]

Venue: Belvoir Upstairs Theatre
Written By: Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine
Directed By: Leticia Cáceres

The rock-fueled box office sensation Barbara and the Camp Dogs is back at the Belvoir. At times a pure foot-stomping rock performance powered by songs of outrage, passion and hope, at others a no-holds-barred insight into the struggles of Indigenous women in the music industry, and above all, a heart-wrenching revelation of the pain of personal loss and abandonment. While the big-picture injustice cannot be resolved, as always with co-writer Valentine, individual reconciliation points the way to a better future.

Shakira Clanton. Photo: Supplied

While a more detailed response can be found at http://www.southsydneyherald.com.au/theatre-barbara-and-the-camp-dogs/#.XKwAK-szZE4
special praise should go to Ursula Yovich’s understudy, the astonishing Shakira Clanton. Not only did the dynamic Shakira learn all of her lines in six days but also she made the originally autobiographical and demanding role fully her own. She struts provocatively, she looks at us or her sister, René (the deeply moving Elaine Crombie), with a mixture of flamboyance and innocence, while making utterly outrageous remarks, and she crumples with self-hate and despair as she fails those she loves.

If you haven’t seen Barbara then grab the chance to experience a unique theatre performance, and if you’ve seen it, see it again, as the second time around is just as thrilling.

April 5-28, 2019.

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