Betty Davis is a total rockstar, and Cecilia Low embodies her feline screeching and dynamic stage presence to a tee in her fringe performance of ‘They Say She’s Different‘.
As we filed into the Gasworks auditorium it was clear that the immersive experience had already began. A woman in a penny lane coat and mile-high platforms stumbled around the sidelines, while another couple (the man in bootlegs, the woman in booty shorts) indulged in a slow dance centre-stage. Musicians jammed quietly on their instruments and the camera crew, also in character, documented the happenings.
Opening with the titular track ‘They Say I’m Different’, Betty fans are immediately in for a treat. Cecilia Low captures her sexy feline screeching and phenomenal vocals perfectly. Back-up vocalist Eliza Wolfgramm nails every high note. The performance is high energy, and the band is guaranteed to have you tapping your feet. It’s a shame that it’s seating room only, as music like that deserves to be boogied to.
If you don’t know much (or anything) about Betty Davis, don’t stress. You’re still in for a great time. Along with being part-tribute act, part-immersive experience, ‘They Say She’s Different’ also aims to tell the Betty Davis story through documentary-style reenactment. While these sections are more entertaining than informative (and we never see an image of the real Betty), they delve into her relationships with music legends Miles Davis and Jimmy Hendricks. Most importantly, the show captures the fiercely independent and ground-breaking woman she was.
If you’re already a fan, this is the show for you. And if you’re not yet a fan, you will be afterwards. Head down to Gasworks for a funky, sexy show about a woman who knew how to rock.
– Emma Hardy
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.
‘They Say She’s Different’ is playing at Gasworks until Saturday 26 September.
The venue is wheelchair accessible.