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Review: Claire Healy: Truth or Claire at Campari House

By Lucinda Naughton

Claire Healy’s cabaret piece Truth or Claire is a very honest and fun performance; her humour lies in her quirkiness and whimsicality. Claire showcases many original songs, with stand-up bits in between and brings high energy and great skill to her animated cabaret style.

Truth or Claire is a collection of Claire’s favourite songs, which are smart and funny. She delivers incredible vocals and different styles of singing to each song, accompanying herself skilfully with piano or ukulele.

Claire began writing songs ten years ago for a very “unoriginal” reason – a breakup. She explains she had “a lot of feelings” and needed an outlet and as she had just finished studying musical theatre, where characters burst into song every time something is difficult to express in words, she followed the same initiative. She is hilariously self-aware and unafraid to call attention to how depressive and bad her first songs were and after realising what a waste of time it was to write about an ex-boyfriend “who was a bit of a dick”, she started writing songs that were fun and made her happy. Hence, none of her early songs made the cut (luckily, as she quotes one to prove how bad they were “This song is all I have to give you”).

The set for the show is simple – a piano and a standing microphone for when Claire performs on the ukulele and delivers stand-up in between songs. The lighting is fun and mimicked the mood of the pieces. Claire is dressed in a polka dot jumpsuit, with bright lipstick, adding to the fun tone of her performance.

Claire’s songs are entertaining and dramatic as she is highly expressive, causing the audience to laugh not only at her lyrics but also at her mannerisms – “If you say potato scallops; you’re wrong”. Claire covers many light-hearted topics, such as potatoes, dinosaurs, and Aldi, which is the focus of her opening song. She explains that “We’ll never know what treasures we will find” in Aldi’s “(a)isle of wonders”, such as a kilo of hummus, much to the audience’s delight, or a jumping castle (“who can’t be happy when they’re in a jumping castle?”, gently implying bigger issues here). Claire encourages the audience to join in for this song (and others), and we sing the chorus in wizard and pirate voices as she asks. She is very inclusive, and her energy is infectious. During one of her songs titled I Sold my Soul for Cash, she walks around the audience and asks what soulless jobs we’ve done; the answers will entertain you!

While funny and entertaining, Claire’s songs and topics are also very relevant and aware. For instance, she hilariously delivers the song about what turns her on with wide eyes and a “sexy” voice, while contrastingly listing things like reusable straws. Claire also jumps into another song that is a completely different tone – seriously sad and beautiful. I enjoy the variety she creates.

Claire lets go of inhibitions, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is clearly there to have fun, which is infectious. She delivers impressively skilled and diverse vocals and will definitely entertain you!

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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