A Quiet Word, Stella You Are Funny

Review in Issue 9-4 | Winter 1997

Handbags, chiffon scarves, gloves, lipstick and all the accoutrements of the celluloid female, are deployed with style and irony in this highly original and intriguing work.

The audience sits on three sides of an intimate cabaret-club setting with its tables, chairs and matching blue lampshades. Two women in silky blue two-piece suits perform a bizarre journey into film noir. Performers Alison Andrews and Clare Thacker draw the audience into worlds within worlds as they parody the language and iconography of women in film. They wield a handheld video camera to mesmerising effect, projecting a succession of images onto a suspended cinema screen. Interspersed with these images are black and white clips from a range of Hollywood classics. The screen, complete with motorised curtain in blue velvet, evolves into a compelling third performer and provides the means for an exquisite ending. On the way to this end we are tantalised by a narrative that keeps on breaking the rules.

Aside from the integration of music and technology and the visual quality of the work, the spoken text was impressive. Andrews and Thacker set the conceptual agenda but Mike Kenny, collaborator and writer, has provided words that fit as well as one of their stilettos. Stella has been fashioned with intelligence and wit. There is a deftness and a clarity of purpose in the approach of A Quite Word which is refreshingly different and well worth the experience.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-4
p. 24