The Toff In Town was packed, but in no way did that diminish the intimacy and warmth that oozed from the stage in ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’.
The concept itself was charming: 21 Melbourne-based female artists sing 21 original songs, backing each other with various choral arrangements. The night began with the full ensemble. A woman in a wide-brimmed hat took the lead and sung with twinkling eyes and a country twang. As I looked about the stage I saw a mass of youthful beauty and enthusiasm, excellent outfits and poorly masked giggles.
One-by-one, each woman stepped out from the mass and sung straight from her heart. Unfamiliar faces became friends; the choir began to pop with personality and individual flair. ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ took the audience on a journey into the heart of each uniquely talented woman, while never letting us forget that as women, as singers, as romantics in a jaded-age, they were one.
This sort of thing will be too twee for some. There was earnestness by the bucket, there were songs about the moon and the heart and the moon’s heart, and there were clichéd rhymes. But, like everyone else in the room, I loved it. In a world that can be so cynical and fake at times, what a relief it was to watch these women sing together with such earnest joy. They were singing their truths with closed eyes, vulnerable and fearless.
Even if love ballads aren’t your jam, you’ll still be smiling at the love these women have for one another. They introduced each other as ‘rock stars’ and ‘heart-breakers’, they grinned together mid-song, they took visible pleasure in supporting one another. One woman told the audience that singing your own song with a choir of best friends behind you is better than any drug she’s ever taken.
And I think I too felt a bit high watching ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’. It was the warmest show I’ve seen in ages: a genuine love pit of talented babes singing their hearts out.
Emma is an avid reader, writer, and teller of tall tales. Her hobbies include petting dogs and sipping red wine; ideally at the same time.
‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ is playing at The Toff in Town Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th September. The venue is wheelchair accessible.