Salon Celebrates Billie Holiday
Salon de la Vie – Season 2
Celebrating Billie Holiday
Scary Little Girls
Times are slowly changing as lock down releases us from the barricades and brings with it a few crumbs of hope with outdoor theatre and cinema performances starting up, but normal service won’t be resumed for who knows how long? Thousands of us continue to rely on the wonderful online performers who have kept us sane since 23rd March. Following a very short break it was good to welcome the 2nd series of Salon de la Vie hosted by Rebecca Mordan. Rebecca led a cracking Season 2 opener, not from the confines of her London home, but sitting in a glorious garden on a summer’s evening with a chorus of seagulls for company. The joy of recent freedom emanated from Rebecca as she celebrated the life of the fabulous Billie Holiday with words and song. Accompanied by her trusty uke, Rebecca opened the evening with the classic ‘Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do’ before welcoming actress Kudzanayi Chiwawa via an online link to share the highs and lows of Lady Day’s life and constant battles.
Salon nights wouldn’t be the same without a spoken word performance from Rebecca who made a perfect choice with ‘Arrangement In Black and White’, a riveting and powerful piece written in 1927 by Dorothy Parker. Listening to the tale unfold conjured up visions of the days of America’s Deep South and the racism it encompassed and embraced; if written today it would resonate under a new title as ‘I’m Not A Racist, But’.
Kudzanayi closed the Salon with one of Billie’s most famous songs ‘Strange Fruit’, originally a controversial protest poem from 1939, Billie had to fight long and hard to persuade a record company to record her. Kudzanayi performed ‘Strange Fruit’ in its original form as the spoken word accompanied with a specially written piece by T.J. Holmes on Cello. The beautiful strains of the strings complimented Kudzanayi’s rich velvety voice entrancing the online audience.
A moving and thought provoking in depth look at Billie Holiday reflecting her struggles, but also reminding us of why she is still loved and remembered.
The next Salon is on 5th August at 7.30pm and explores the life and work of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Visit the website scarylittlegirls.co.uk
All previous Salons are available on SLG’s You Tube Channel -