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Preview: Jacques Brel's brooding songs make a comeback

Brel: The Words and Music of Jacques Brel
Silo Theatre
Directed by Michael Hurst
New Zealand Festival
St James Cabaret
February 26 – March 2

One of the homegrown musical events of next year's New Zealand Festival in Wellington will be Silo Theatre’s production of Brel: The Words and Music of Jacques Brel at the St James Cabaret.

It features Jon Toogood and Julia Deans, with Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Tama Waipara, as they interpret Jacques Brel’s extraordinary songbook.

A major influence on modern music, Brel’s dark, sardonic and witty songs have been covered by artists like Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Nina Simone.

Brel was one of the great hits of last year’s Silo season directed by Michael Hurst with a band led by Leon Radojkovic.

This reviewer said of the production that the four soloists were exceptional singers and actors, bringing Brel’s often despairing songs to life and giving them a contemporary feel and relevance producing an extraordinary performance that was raw, funny, passionate and entertaining.

More by John Daly-Peoples