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Review: June at North by Northwest
Review of the concert which featured Wallaby Stew

By Jenny O'Reilly
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005

In June, our featured artists were "Wallaby Stew", consisting of Neil Morrison as a performer of Australian songs, stories and poetry, and Penelope Grace providing music on the violin to accompany and highlight the drama of these. I have not seen a show quite like this before, and was very impressed with the professionalism and sheer entertainment value of their presentation.

They were outstanding!

Neil Morrison is a fine recitationist, singer and storyteller, with a voice and a presence reminiscent of Leonard Teale. Each song, poem or story was skilfully linked to the next one, and each one, whether well known or not, was brought to life by the combination of his performing style and Penelope Grace's violin "voice", which spoke volumes. We sang along with "My Old Black Billy" and "Andy's Gone with Cattle", felt for the swaggie in Henry Lawson's "Outback", and laughed along with CJ Dennis's "The Bloke".

All the way through, they involved us, entertained us - and left us wanting more. In fact, my only complaint would be that I wish they had gone on longer. I recommend them highly to anyone with a chance to see them or book them.

It was also a night rich in great floorspots - from Robin Connaughton, John Warner, Mike Richter, Pip Griffin. Lol Osborn, Mike Scheidemann and Stafford Sanders.

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