REVIEW: Conversations with Goddesses

Tucked away on the second floor of South Brisbane’s Fox Hotel you’ll find Fish Lane Creative Studios. For the next few days, this quirky arts space will be the Anywhere Festival home of Conversations with Goddesses, a mixed media cabaret presented by Louise McCabe. Keeping an open mind is one of the key things I’ve learned to do when […]

Tucked away on the second floor of South Brisbane’s Fox Hotel you’ll find Fish Lane Creative Studios. For the next few days, this quirky arts space will be the Anywhere Festival home of Conversations with Goddesses, a mixed media cabaret presented by Louise McCabe.

Keeping an open mind is one of the key things I’ve learned to do when watching Anywhere Festival shows – you won’t always be seeing things that are geared towards you, or that you will enjoy, but just because it isn’t for you, doesn’t mean there isn’t someone in that room that’s loving every moment. That’s exactly the vibe I got from Conversations with Goddesses, an oddly watchable mix of karaoke, costume changes, and Powerpoint presentations – it’s not for me, but I wasn’t the only person in the room.

Through the guises of five different goddesses, from several different ancient cultures, creator Louise McCabe offers advice and empowerment. Aphrodite and her musings on love, sex, and self worship; Persephone and how it’s okay to cry; Diana and being one with nature; Quan Yin and compassion; Morrigan and… well, I’m still a little unsure on that one, but the wig was cool. Working with her trusty assistant Technophilia (Goddess of Wi-Fi), McCabe offers 90 minutes of singing, belly dancing, and awkward audience participation that I found enjoying despite myself.

There’s some genuinely funny moments and a few excellent one-liners, and a quieter performance as Persephone, singing a beautiful song in French really showcases McCabe’s abilities, but all in all, it’s a distinctly amateurish and, perhaps, a little self-indulgent performance. I’m not sure that McCabe is as strong a singer as she thinks she is, and a few technical muck-ups along the way slowed things down a little, yet judging by the reactions of the audience (a demographic made up largely of women around McCabe’s age), it was a rousing success.

This is due in no small part to McCabe herself, who combines infectious enthusiasm and a lust for life with an absolute belief in what she’s trying to sell. A few bum notes and a cringeworthy dance scene or two can easily be forgiven, because McCabe is having an absolute ball up on stage. Every line she spouts about empowerment and self belief and being your own goddess is reinforced by what she’s doing herself, and it’s hard not to respect that, or get caught up in it. We all find strength somewhere, and someone is bound to find a little bit of it here.

Jodie Fairclough
Reviewer attended the May 10th performance


Conversations with Goddesses finishes its run at Fish Lane Creative Studios on May 12th, with shows starting at 7.30pm.
Fish Lane Creative Studios is located on level 2 of The Fox Hotel, South Brisbane, right beside the Cultural Centre busway.

6 comments

  1. Deidre Daxine

    Jodie

    I’m not sure what you mean by your review. I thought it was incredibly profound. Were we watching the same show?

    1. I think you’ve actually hit on exactly what my review was trying to say – that it’s not going to be for everyone (in this case me), but that someone (in this case you) is going to find something really special there.

      The message behind the show is lovely, those ideas of empowerment and strength and love really do come through, but all in all wasn’t to my taste. We may have been watching the same show, but we didn’t get the same things from it – and that’s okay! That’s the beauty of the arts, really, isn’t it? We can look at things and react completely differently!

      Thinking it over, it might have been a generational thing. Myself and my friend were probably the youngest people in attendance, so perhaps it came from not being able to relate to McCabe as much as someone closer to her in age would be able to. There are experiences there that I have yet to feel, experiences I may never feel, and perhaps that put a barrier between me having any sort of profound reaction to the show.

      I’m glad you did find something there though – Louise’s performance was so full of life and so energetic that I’m almost disappointed I didn’t feel much!

  2. Ben from the Goldcoast

    I personally have seen this production in Byron Bay on a much larger stage. This particular show in Brisbane, though on a much smaller stage was, in my opinion brave, bold & well put together. On top of it the performance was brilliant, and remembering this is a fringe festival I’m a bit confused by comments of “Amateurish” confuses me. This is where amateurs become professionals, it is a fringe festival, for discovering and encouraging art, not West End in London. As a male, this show still stood out & I would encourage people to see it, obviously some will love & others may not but that’s what these festivals are about, and keep your minds open.

    1. Would you say it translated better in a larger space?
      I did actually find the space used a little distracting (all those twinkling lights, the trains going by), perhaps that played a part? But that, of course, is the beauty of Anywhere Festival – you never know where you’ll end up!

      And yes, the more I’m thinking about it, the more I regret the use of the word ‘amateurish’ – I appreciate, of course, that that’s what Anywhere Festival is about – and I think I was maybe just struggling to find a word and that’s all that came to mind. But, on the other hand, knowing that this has come from larger stages and has been around since 2014 (I think?), I think its fair to expect a more polished performance.

      Once again though, you’ve hit the nail on the head – this won’t be a show for everyone!
      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Pingback:Beer & Skittles: Conversations with Goddesses | Ginger St. George

  4. Would you say it translated better in a larger space?
    I did actually find the space used a little distracting (all those twinkling lights, the trains going by), perhaps that played a part? But that, of course, is the beauty of Anywhere Festival – you never know where you’ll end up!

    And yes, the more I’m thinking about it, the more I regret the use of the word ‘amateurish’ – I appreciate, of course, that that’s what Anywhere Festival is about – and I think I was maybe just struggling to find a word and that’s all that came to mind. But, on the other hand, knowing that this has come from larger stages and has been around since 2014 (I think?), I think its fair to expect a more polished performance.

    Once again though, you’ve hit the nail on the head – this won’t be a show for everyone!
    Thanks for your comment!

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