Port Fairy was buzzing last weekend with events aimed at shaking off the winter blues. Any excuse. Of these, I particularly enjoyed revisiting the small theatre group who performed a play about the life of Sylvia Plath last year. Returning to Blarney Books & Art, New Performance Company (Janet Watson Kruse, Carolyn Masson and Peppa Sindar, directed by Brenda Palmer) presented a series of short plays across the space of a fast-moving hour... with wine and nibbles at the end. I was absolutely enthralled by Gaylene Carbis's This is What Happened, a tight and powerful piece of writing, which was rhythmic and full of wonderful nuances from beginning to end. Hats off! Bravo! Three cheers! and all that to the actors, their director and the script writers.
That was in the afternoon. In the evening, I had the pleasure of enjoying Kelly Auty for a couple of hours (that sounds wrong!). I'd seen Kelly Auty perform twice before and wasn't disappointed on this occasion either. She sang numbers from the repertoires of Billie Holiday, Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone and other blues and jazz greats, although it's her rendition of Edith Piaf songs that always blows me away. Quite sublime. Once again, there was wine and nibbles included in the price of the ticket, so the day had a pleasantly pickled quality to it. However, the most memorable song of the night was one I haven't heard Kelly Auty sing before, and that was Etta James's At Last. I've liked this song ever since Gary Ross used it to such great effect in the film Pleasantville, so thought I'd finish with it here, in the original (thanks to ZombieSlag36 fan video).