Cook­ing up a storm in this kitchen-based mu­si­cal

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

GOD­DESS (PG)

THE KITCHEN i s a n un­likely set­ting for a mu­si­cal, but for a lot of women it’s the only place they ever get to sing. I for one reg­u­larly per­form show­stop­pers at the stove while mak­ing chicken soup and my knei­dels have never suf­fered — even when I throw in a few jazzy dance moves. And I am not alone.

Some time ago, Joanna Wein­berg, a South-African liv­ing in Aus­tralia, cre­ated a one-woman show — Sinksongs — while do­ing the wash­ing-up. Now it’s been made into one of the cheeri­est lit­tle films I’ve seen this year, al­beit with a ti­tle that con­jures up Ur­sula An­dress in a toga rather than su­per-tal­ented Laura Michelle Kelly in a pair of Marigolds.

Kelly, who won an Olivier as Mary Pop­pins, plays house­wife Elspeth Dick­ens, a mother of un­ruly twin boys liv­ing in pic­turesque Tas­ma­nia with her whale-sav­ing hus­band (Boyzone’s Ro­nan Keat­ing) who is per­ma­nently away at sea. Lonely with only the tod­dlers and a goat called Stephen for com­pany, Elspeth chan­nels her frus­tra­tion into writ­ing amus­ing lit­tle songs which she per­forms on a we­b­cam in her kitchen.

She de­cides to go pub­lic with her talent on the net, quickly build­ing up a fol­low­ing which in turn at­tracts the at­ten­tion of an ad­ver­tis­ing agency which in­vites her to be the star of a com­puter cam­paign. Bol­ly­wood has long been us­ing such thin sto­ry­lines to fuel hours of elab­o­rate mu­si­cals and while work­ing in In­dia, I grew to love them in much the same way I loved this more com­pact (104 min­utes) but equally be­guil­ing pro­duc­tion by di­rec­tor Mark Lam­prell. Kelly is cap­ti­vat­ing as the do­mes­tic chanteuse and in his small role Keat­ing doesn’t dis­ap­point.

But it is Magda Szuban­ski of Kath and Kim fame who scene-steals as the ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive, prov­ing that it re­ally isn’t over un­til the fat lady sings.

So hats off — or maybe aprons — to Joanna Wein­berg for mak­ing the kitchen drama some­thing to sing about.

KELLY IS CAP­TI­VAT­ING AS THE DO­MES­TIC CHANTEUSE AND KEAT­ING DOES NOT DISAPPPOINT

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