Girls with Guitars is an eclectic mix of music tied together with the general theme of “women songwriters.” While the piece does not have any particular guiding flow per se, the talented and clearly hard-working cast and band work their way through a good chunk of influential singers-songwriters such as Dolly Parton, The Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nix, and Amy Winehouse among others. Just for kicks they add a dash or original music and new arrangements of classic titles.
A bit heavy on the explanations – particularly since there is no overriding narrative – the performers apologise in advance for singers’ nerves (there is NO need), or mention that a song or two might not have been rehearsed well. These explanations do nothing for the piece and predispose the audience to judge a handful of the musical interludes perhaps a little more harshly than they otherwise might have done!
Overall the singers are talented and the band is spot on from beginning to end, earning the hefty applause they deserved at the end of the show. Girls With Guitars pays solid homage to some of the greatest singers-songwriters of our time. With a dose of confidence, some potentially simple reorganisation to discover a driving message, this show could go from merely “good” to “great.”
In the meantime it’s worth a fiver – and maybe even the sleepy weekday morning that inevitably follows any show that ends at midnight. It’s clear that some of these voices have the ability to soar.
A solid achievement, a top mark for effort, and a keen interest in any future installments – because there is potential here.