With her winning smile and wholesome good looks, Alyce Platt is the definitive girl next door.
A mainstay of Australian television for many years, the charismatic actress has appeared in popular prime – time dramas like Sons and Daughters, Neighbours, A Country Practice and City Homicide.
She is best known, however, for co – hosting the hit quiz, Sale Of The Century. Working on that show, they were heady days filled with big hair, even bigger shoulder pads, and taffeta gowns that, in Platt’s own words, made her look like a gigantic wedding cake.
A world – premiere, her latest offering is compelling viewing for several key reasons.
Stepping away from a carefully – manufactured on – screen persona, Someone’s Daughter is a fascinating study in contrasts. An accomplished singer and guitarist, Platt uses this musical opportunity to showcase a deeper and darker side.
It is no accident that the performer covers respected artists and bands such as David Bowie, Marianne Faithful, Jimi Hendrix, The Motels, Portishead, and the Velvet Underground.
For her act’s hour – long running time, Platt features an eclectic and gripping set – list of pieces (in no particular order) like:
- All Tomorrow’s Parties;
- Cowboys In The Attic;
- Funny Little World;
- Glory Box;
- Hey Joe;
- Pale Blue Eyes;
- Someone’s Daughter;
- The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan;
- Total Control;
- Port Of Amsterdam; and
- What Was Her Name?.
For the show’s duration, Platt handles everything from gentle ballads to hardcore rock with equal ease. Her singing voice is clear, rich and at times, hypnotic. Layered in self – aware emotion, she also exudes that rare star quality similar to (the above – mentioned) Marianne Faithful, Chrissie Amphlett, Renee Geyer, Debbie Harry, Colleen Hewitt, Cindi Lauper, and Annie Ross. Just to name a few.
Platt splices up this musical narrative with small yet telling anecdotal glimpses into her professional and personal life. Meaning, each tune has been clearly chosen with an intent, to explore and expand on a particular autobiographical moment. Dripping with raw and real catharsis, Someone’s Daughter is very much a journey to one’s true self.
Backed by her four – piece band, The Fish – Shop Collective, Peter Farnan (guitar), Clare Moore (drums), Steve Paix (keyboards, saxophone, and melodeon), and Frank Di Sario provide expert support at all times. (Katy Maudlin is credited as dramaturge.)
Intelligent sound and lighting builds and maintains an ethereal mood, not unlike the spare design used for Cameron Goodall’s living masterpiece, The Sound Of Falling Stars.
It makes sense that growing up, Platt idolised both Marcia from The Brady Bunch and Young Talent Time’s Debra Byrne. Casting a spell on her captive audience, Platt employs Someone’s Daughter to pull apart two distinct sides to the one coin.
To quote my astute guest for the evening, performing isn’t something you do. It is who you are.
Someone’s Daughter plays for three performances only until this Saturday at The Melbourne Cabaret Festival. Don’t miss it.