When a great singer lets her voice float out over the anonymous crowd, or form the grooves of thousands of records, or flow through radios into millions of homes across the world, she makes countless unknown connections with people. The singer has her story and the listener hers, and should those stories touch each other, there can be magic.
Remarkable women. In Joanna Murray-Smith’s Songs for Nobodies we meet five anonymous women whose brushes with fame had a profound effect on their lives, interleaved with the songs that gave them heart.
Ever since I sat stunned at a Bernadette Robinson concert not believing my ears, I wanted to create a show for her, something that put her miraculous ability to reincarnate the great singing voices of the past into a rich theatrical context. So I knocked on the obvious door. Joanna Murray-Smith’s brilliant talent for channelling not only characters but somehow the spirit of the performer created the spectacularly successful Bombshells for Caroline O’Connor in 2002. Her response to my Bernadette brief was, if anything, even more inspired: she placed the dramatic focus not on the stars themselves but the unknown women for whom these fragile singers were sources of strength.
Key Photography: Earl Carter. Production Photography: Jeff Busby