Ça Va? at this year's Adelaide Fringe Festival is more than just a beautiful, feisty, smart, funny, talented French maid who can sing.
Wanted-Waitress: One French maid who must be beautiful, feisty, smart, funny, talented, can sing, and must be clumsy. I know of one, and her name is Helene and she would be perfect. There wasn’t a lot of room in this small narrow building known as the Fringe Factory located on Hindley street in the centre of Adelaide, which was full to bursting with not one empty seat left. Deep red floor to ceiling curtains ran parallel with the narrow rectangular room, the stage was compacted , secluded and raised enough, to ensure a clear view from the first to the very back row. You’d think sitting in the very last row, you’d be safe or out of ear shot! Not this time. Bang, the door slammed, and as heads turned, in off the road, was Helene, our French maid. Not shy, but stunning features, and her beautiful accent, had me captivated from that moment. You couldn’t not like her, from her first few words spoken, she was brilliant, talented, oozing confidence and fluent with her French accent. She took her time, prolonging her grand entrance, the stage, her destination. She was very inquisitive, and got right into the audience, literally. She nearly sat beside me. We were swept away with her accent, and her beautiful use of prose. Her stories were so believable, similar to a revolving door, so were her waitressing jobs. She can also sing. Can she ever! English and French songs, from different composers, such as Andrew Lippa, Tori Amos, Edith Piaf and Louguy. Her tales from Paris round and round the roundabout, got funnier and quicker, and her energy was radiating, comical. Meet the real French maid, Joanne O’Callaghan, who took off her wig, let her mop of curly hair down, and it was hard to believe this was the same lady. She was amazing. She is that interchangeable and talented, that she then performed a song The World Goes Around, reflecting her own personality. This has been brilliantly choreographed, and put together, as Helene makes the show her own. The one hour show could have gone on for two or three hours, she kept us entertained and hanging on her every word. I would honestly recommend this show, it has everything and by the audience’s reaction, they too would highly recommend it to others. I can’t say enough, on the sheer delight and lighthearted performance of Joanne O’Callaghan, aka Helene. Apart from performing in Ça Va? Joanne is currently directing the cabaret Not So Secret Bridesmaids Business staring Hayley Ramsay, also featuring at this year’s Adelaide Fringe. Aside from cabaret Joanne can be seen performing in children’s theatre throughout Melbourne. The season of Ça Va? runs until 22 March with ticket prices ranging from $12.75 to $22.75 but be quick several nights have already sold out. Adelaide Fringe Festival information.

Julie Stone

Monday 16 March, 2009

About the author

Julie Stone is a first time arts reviewer, based in Adelaide. She's a keen photographer and hopes to sell her art work soon, as a hobby on the side, apart from the norm, an Office Worker by day. She keeps fit playing sport a few times a week and is looking forward to this Fringe Spectacular approaching us fast.