Plenty to love about Lally’s performance

EVERYONE has a story to tell.

Few people get the chance to stand and deliver.

Enter Lally Katz, a personable playwright and raconteur who lights up the stage in Hothouse’s first show for this year, Stories I Want to Tell You In Person.

For just over an hour, Katz talks about her life, loves, triumphs and defeats, bringing to her solo role a sense of whimsy and alert characterisation of key figures from her past and present.

There’s a single chair on stage plus a shimmering golden curtain, but except for the occasional appearance of a giant brown bear, and the not infrequent stentorian voice of Conscience, Katz inhabits her space unaided.

On opening night an easy rapport with the audience was instantly achieved.

We were voyeurs, eavesdropping on colourful tales about psychics, fortune tellers and theatre personalities.

No belly laughs, but a steady recurring ripple of amusement as the story unfolded and we were drawn into her world.

She is not, repeat not, one of those brassy performers who bludgeon you mercilessly.

Remarkably, Katz operates in a self deprecating way, often seeming to disclose quirky episodes in her life with amused detachment.

There’s a key quality about her manner that for me brought memories of Audrey Hepburn.

As director, Anne-Louise Sarks has chosen a minimalist approach in which the spoken word can flourish without any visual distractions, and Katz thrives in such a free environment.

Stories I Want to Tell You continues at Wodonga’s Butter Factory Theatre until Saturday.

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