Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

I’ve been Kissed by Brel

I am so happy. This one is a goodie. A standing ovation, talk about it to everyone you know goodie. Kissed by Brel tops the list at number one and it’s going to be hard to beat. Claire Watling sings Brel, accompanied by Godfrey Johnson and directed by Geoff Hyland at the Intimate Theatre, 37 Orange St. I went with mother of Big Friendly (Big Friendly is away on biz) and we loved opening night.
I love the space. The Intimate is a small square box with a cute foyer/bar and a sexy wooden deck for pre and post show hanging out.

Geoff’s styling is apparent the moment you walk in, with gorgeous floorcloth, simple, stylish metal chairs and the piano in a severe straight line. And when the show starts, his design is brilliantly supported by the lighting.

Now, I am biased. I love Jacques Brel and have since I was a child. But I am also very picky about how his songs should be done. I also happen to think that if there is one person that can sing them it’s Claire Watling. And she does not disappoint. Ever.

Dressed in an unbelievably sexy shimmery grey dress and a flowing sheath of netting as a cape/veil Claire arrived on stage and from the first word she sang (which was Carousel btw) I started crying. I only stopped for the funny songs (which were hilarious) but I was still crying for her final rendition of If We only Have Love.

The choices of songs were brilliant and Claire (and Godfrey) matched that brilliance with variety, versatility, integrity and power. Am I gushing? Claire is masterful. She lets go, pulls back, is exquisite and vulnerable, harsh and strident, cute and cheeky, sexy and magnetic, shy and wistfull and unforgettable. Her face, body, arms and voice are magical and powerful instruments that are forever changing but always meaningful. She transported me.

My highlights were Amsterdam, If You go Away, Marieke, The Old Folks and Lovers, but I also loved everything else.

I can’t think of a single bad thing to say. It got the rousing standing ovation it deserved. Go and see it. It has a very short run. If you love Brel you will delight in it. If you don’t, use this as the best initiation possible.
Bravo Claire! Bravo Godfrey! Bravo Geoff! My faith is restored.


Songs of Hangings and Redemptions




  1. Luke

    Huge congrats to all involved – it was a magical performance!

  2. John

    A truly stunning performance from Claire that makes you laugh and cry, remember and want to forget, dream and celebrate! Godfrey supported her so well you mostly forgot he was there with his piano. May this show be seen and appreciated by many old and new Brel fans around the country.

  3. The Saint

    I haven’t seen this show yet but will. What I do want to say is how do we [us outsiders] get to start a new topic cos I want to recommend a show which was at KBT last week called “The Magic of Larry Soffer”. The man is young but he is really good and he doesn’t just do the old sleight of hand stuff but some truly stunning “mentalism” that [to me] can’t be explained by smoke and mirrors. he has recently taken the step of performing magic on a stage and his rapport wiht audiences is good.
    If you can catch the show do so – all ages.

  4. megan

    Sorry Saint, you aren’t able to. But I do think that your comments are a great forum to recommend stuff. And mebbe I’ll take your word for it and check out the shows YOU recommend and post my very own definite ideas on it. Loverly to have you here sharing your views.

  5. Megan, Marianne Thamm here, I love your blog and would like to refer or link to it, and particularly some of your reviews, on the Fleur du Cap theatre website. Distell sponsors it – its a bit difficult to navigate around at present but we’re working on it – but I’d love to be able to post some of your stuff i you don’t mind. Particularly if you’ve seen something that’s having a short run and that might not get into print media quick enough.
    Let me know

  6. megan

    This blog is going places. Thanks Marianne!

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