Salisbury Secret Garden
Until 04 Mar 2017

Review by Talia Gaertner-Jones

Sarah Valle stars in her first one woman cabaret show, “Female, Fat and Fabulous(ly Awkward)”. The tag line of her show suggests that it will be filled with humour and anecdotes of Valle’s life. And it’s true, it does begin this way, as Valle transforms the stage of the Salisbury Institute to feel more ‘homely’, by bringing out a fireplace prop and items from her house to give us an insight into her life. She is a self-classified sci-fi nerd who likes David Bowie and Halloween.

Valle starts the show by playing on the piano the Gloria Gaynor hit “I Will Survive”, where ironically Valle hit a few bung notes and held the sustain pedal a little too long creating a blur of notes, but nevertheless continued, bopping away to her song.

Valle’s next song, “Blister In The Sun”, this time asked for audience participation with claps, however as she once again was hitting more wrong notes and needing to re-start multiple times the audience trailed off.

She spoke about her time working in a music store when she was on work experience in Year 10 and her love for Nirvana. This lead to Valle performing a ballad version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, once again with her foot regularly holding on to that sustain pedal and a few wrong notes. It was at this point where I began to wonder why Valle had decided to put together a show of songs she played on the piano when she either hadn’t been playing that long, or was not that confident, when out of the blue she played a 30 second snippet of a piece of classical music. With no sustain pedal and her fingers gliding over the keys - that’s what I would have loved to hear more of.

My advice for Valle would be to create a script for her next show. She made mention that she had a playlist of songs to perform, but was quickly running out of time. She also made remarks after each song or spoken word that the show was going downhill and afterwards we “can all talk about how terrible the show was”. Don’t put your own show down!

Valle obviously has a passion for The Arts which was evident when she referred to the drama students she teaches and classes she offers at the Salisbury Institute. At 23 she seems to have a lot going on in her life, but maybe if she wrote these experiences down, reviewed them, and had some preview performances she could create something that audiences would come back for.

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)