The Girl Who Believed in Magic – Project Arts Centre – Review


The Girl Who Believed in Magic –  Created and Performed by Julie Feeney

Runs until – 11 April 2015 7.30pm / 9.30pm
Tickets €22/18

As you enter the theatre, you are greeted with a projection of the name of the production in what looks remarkably like magic marker, onto a screen at the front of the stage. Jule Feeney has always loved magic, and put on conjuring shows for her parents and friends when she was a young child. This new production draws on these childhood images, to create a new work based around her songs.

As the show starts, the screen at the front of the stage becomes transparent revealing Feeney on the floor of the stage. She slowly rises over the first couple of songs, and moves around the stage in controlled fashion, often interacting with the video pieces. There is no script to the production, other than the lyrics of the songs. In truth, it is closer to a concert, with the incorporation of video and a variety of lavish costumes. While the theatrical element of the performance does add something, it does not allow the personality of the performer to be on display, and there is no interaction with the audience as there would be at a normal gig. She sings over a backing track for much of the show, but also plays accordion and keyboard for a couple of songs.

Video is projected onto screens throughout, showing images from an early black and white version of Alice in Wonderland, along with swirling scenes of water, smoke and leaves. The costumes by Umit Kutluk really catch the eye with each more elaborate than the first. They have fanciful headdresses with a set of horns for the final few songs of the evening.

Those expecting to see a piece of musical theatre will be disappointed, as this is closer to a concert than it is to a play. There is no obvious story line and while there are links between the themes of the songs, concerning magic, love and fairytale they do not add up to an overall plot. It is heavily stylized and the lighting and costumes deserve considerable praise. This is very much a piece for fans of Julie’s music, as her songs carry the production and they will no doubt be delighted with what she has delivered.

The Girl Who Believed in Magic – Created and Performed by Julie Feeney

Directed by Mikel Murfi
Designed by Paul Keogan
Costumes by Umit Kutluk
Produced by Maura O’Keeffe



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