Bernadette Robinson

in 'Songs of Bernadette'

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Last Show: Tuesday 17 th September 2019

The Pheasantry (Chelsea)

Bernadette Robinson’s performances in 'Songs For Nobodies' at London’s Ambassadors Theatre in early 2019 earned the show an Olivier Awards nomination and introduced her as a new star on the West End. Alone on stage, Bernadette played the 5 “nobodies” of the title and 5 iconic singers of the 20th century: Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas. The Times called her “A jaw-dropping talent”; The Telegraph, recalling her portrayal of Callas singing Vissi D’arté from Puccini’s Tosca, commented “It’s so sublime, it’s like a shot of morphine; for a blissful few minutes, all the cares of the world are gone.”

Now, Bernadette is back in London and is excited to present a solo concert titled 'Songs of Bernadette' at The Pheasantry.

In this concoction of musical delights Bernadette pays tribute to those same legendary performers, and others, presents songs by contemporary songwriters and introduces some surprise guests (think Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey and Julie Andrews). This will be a concert to savour.

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“A jaw-dropping talent”

The Times

Prior to her London debut, Bernadette had established herself as one of Australia’s leading singers and actresses with successive premieres and tours of Songs For Nobodies and a follow-up one-woman play, Pennsylvania Avenue. The latter is another solo tour-de-force, in which Bernadette plays Harper Clements, a fictional White House functionary who guides the audience through a world of Presidents and first ladies (from the Kennedys to the Clintons) and performs as the stars who entertained them at the White House and were part of their orbit: Barbra Streisand, Eartha Kitt, Peggy Lee, Sara Vaughan, Tammy Wynette, Aretha Franklin and others.

Both plays were written specifically for Bernadette by Joanna-Murray Smith (The Female of the Species; Honour; Switzerland), on commission from the Melbourne Theatre Company, and were directed by Simon Phillips (Love Never Dies; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert).

In 2017 and 2018, Bernadette co-wrote and performed The Show Goes On, a new solo piece, at the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne. Again, she received overwhelming critical and audience acclaim: “Robinson is an indomitable force on stage. Her magnetism, acting skill and that fabulous voice - voices, really - should leave all comers astonished and mightily impressed” (The Age). “Robinson is a dumbfoundingly great musical theatre performer and as we watch her, our jaws dropping, we can’t see how she does it. This is an art of singing and acting – and of singing as acting – which in Hamlet’s phrase outweighs ‘a whole theatre of others’” (The Saturday Paper).

Before embarking on her professional career, Bernadette studied music at the Victorian College of the Arts, including voice with the late Dame Joan Hammond. After her studies Bernadette joined the premiere Australian production of Cats, in Sydney, playing the roles of Jellylorum, Grizabella and JennyAnyDots. Next, leading Australian Director Rodney Fisher wrote and staged her first solo project, You Might As Well Live at Marian Street Theatre in Sydney and the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. Subsequent roles have included Beatrice in the musical The Venetian Twins (composed by Terrence Clarke with libretto by Nick Enright) for Gordon Frost Productions, the Countess in Die Fledermaus with Wellington City Opera, featured roles in Lacuna and The Two Executioners, by David Chesworth for Chamber Made Opera, the role of Linda in Robert Ashley’s Don Leaves Linda, for the same company at the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, and Songs For Nobodies, Pennsylvania Avenue and The Show Goes On.

Bernadette has given frequent performances at the Sydney Opera House, Hamer Hall (in Melbourne), Melbourne Recital Centre, Adelaide Festival Centre and other leading Australian concert venues. She has also performed all over the world at corporate events singing specially programmed local songs in French, Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese (and English!).

Bernadette will be accompanied by her 'Songs for Nobodies' MD, pianist Greg Arrowsmith