Geraldine Quinn – The Passion of Saint Nicholas

By Peter Newling

Geraldine Quinn has been delighting audiences with her stellar performing and song-writing abilities since the mid 2000s. A multiple winner of the MICF’s Golden Gibbo Award, she is well entrenched as one of Australia’s most loved and respected comedy and cabaret performers. This show carries on that proud tradition.

The subject matter is difficult. The death of a family member is awful. When that family member is a sibling dying way too young of a form of cancer, it’s worse. But somehow, Quinn has taken this dark base and constructed something joyful, life-affirming and (at appropriate moments) laugh out loud funny.

In The Passion of Saint Nicholas, Quinn explores her relationship with her late brother, hilariously relaying stories about childhood rivalries, juvenile one-upmanship, family favouritism and coping with loss. The half a dozen songs created for the show help punctuate the narrative, each differing from the last in style and energy. The songs move effortlessly from earnest sincerity to smiling piss-take and back again. She really is a terrific song writer. And her singing, as we all know, is outstanding.

Shout out to Declan Fay, the director of the show. The pacing and intensity levels throughout the hour were spot on. And the show is backed up by a first class sound plot.

This is an intensely personal piece, but with themes that will resonate with audiences young and old. The standing ovation offered at the end of the show I attended was heartfelt and genuine. It’s a remarkable piece, by a remarkable performer.

Get in quick. Geraldine Quinn – The Passion of Saint Nicholas is only playing until April 7 at the Malthouse, at 6:45pm and 5:45pm on the Sunday.