Every quest starts with a question ...
AUDIENCE (POST-SHOW REACTIONS)
"This is nothing like I've seen - something entirely new"
"You talk about the things we should be talking about"
"this is a very important show - I want to hear it all again!"
"I was meant to hear this today - I'm in 'the Wasteland' like the story "
"That made me feel soooo good"
"you made me cry" "you made me misty" "I got emotional"
"this should be a full stage musical - you need to make that happen"
"I'm still thinking about the things you said"
ANYWHERE FESTIVAL 2021
- PREMIERE -
DATE: 15 May 2021
VENUE: Elements Collective - Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
"Griffin herself is an absolute ray of sunshine"
Belinda Griffin’s musical debut Elucidation takes listeners on a hero’s journey and introduces them to a rising star. An hour of storytelling and song sharing the work transports audiences to a roaring campfire (a faux one of course as the show takes place indoors) where the only things missing are a comfy blanket and some toasted marshmallows.
After a rather busy week I hoped I would be able to escape my worries for a while by indulging in this work, even if that escape was only brief. So, I made my way through the chaos and debauchery of Fortitude Valley on a Saturday night to the EC Venue and was not disappointed by what I found. Griffin’s music is the perfect blend of the best of Stevie Nicks and Shania Twain. That is, a blend of new age lyricism and honest country melodies. Being able to listen to Griffin explain the intention and imagery of each track made the work equally as intimate as it was cosmic. It truly was the perfect sonic sanctuary.
Griffin herself is an absolute ray of sunshine. She seems like the type of person who just knows how you take your tea and is glad to continue an afternoon chat long after that tea goes cold. She endears herself immediately to her audience and her joy is infectious. I couldn’t help but smile seeing the glee that comes with being able to share your art with an audience in Griffin’s eyes. After learning both showings of the work had sold out I have to say such success has been bestowed upon someone who truly deserves it.
After the show’s end I re-emerged into the cold, windy pandemonium of Fortitude Valley feeling renewed, feeling the bustle of my life was meant for me, and feeling that if I needed to change my path I had the power to choose again.
REVIEWED BY: Tristan Niemi for Anywhere Festival. The reviewer attended on the 15th of May.
BRISBANE FRINGE Festival
DATE: 23 October 2022
VENUE: Sailing Club - West End, Brisbane
"there is something quite beautiful in this intimate little show and its uplifting ideas"
Wet weekend weather may have necessitated that the campfire be moved from Orleigh Park inside of the nearby South Brisbane Sailing Club, but the sentiment still stands clear from the outset of Belinda Griffin’s original Fringe Brisbane show, “Elucidation”. When we hear stories, we can see ourselves written with them and consider our possibilities, Griffin reminds us early on. The one-woman show, written and performed by Griffin, a lover of music and seeker of life’s deeper meanings, has a clear throughline with numbers curated around the idea of the desire for happiness as part of the human condition. As part of its exploration of this, content covers evolution from creation myths of survival through ancient legends of Greek and Roman origins, and the hero’s journey. It is from here that the show’s obscure title originates, as tribute to the prequel ancient text that shares why the holy grail of King Arthur’s tale was needed to restore the Wasteland, left barren after the departure of its abused Well Maidens.
From here, we are linked into a range of lyric-driven numbers, including, ‘Prism’ which serves as a gentle reassurance that light will shine after darker times. ‘Choose Again’, similarly starts with a quieter melody before cresendoing towards its resounding reminder of the need to seek and offer forgiveness to move forward towards inner peace because ‘you only live one; you only get one life’.
Griffin has a clear sense of musical style. Her smooth vocals suit the often folksy sounds, but also flexibly blend in some country-esque interest to some of the score’s numbers. Due to this, the ‘Dark Water’ tribute to the dreamers and thinkers et al who came before us serves as an early highlight, while the memorable ‘No Mud, No Lotus’ attests to the need for the bad to appreciate the good of life. It’s consideration of the concept of namaste sees the audience (who are gathered in circle around the faux campfire), joining in singalong of its ‘om mani padme’ Sankrit hum mantra.
Over the 60 minutes of its duration, “Elucidation” covers a lot in terms of content as, in her narration, Griffin draws together the guiding threads of the familiar storytelling device of the hero’s journey. Explanation of the songs that inspired the show is detailed, perhaps excessively so. For a music show, there is a lot of commentary. And interesting as it is, it could be more effectively managed to account for assumed audience knowledge, meaning that definitions and multiple examples may not be needed for every point, for example discussion of the scientific studies of energy by Einstein and even Tesla in relation to the laws of attraction and affirming power of words, or lone “The Wizard of Oz” mentions amongst what is a throughline based around the rich-enough story of Arthur origins. This could allow for enhanced authentic audience engagement rather than energy being focussed on trying to remember every little detail to be included in between-song discussion.
Still, there is something quite beautiful in this intimate little show and its uplifting ideas, which are wonderfully captured in its final ‘Shine’ song and its testament to bringing the light. Griffin is a passionate performer and in “Elucidation” she gives us an accessible tale of profound resonance for modern times.
REVIEWED BY: Meredith Walker, BLUE CURTAINS BRISBANE
ALL INFO - https://linktr.ee/BelindaGriffin
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Elucidation acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
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