Review: Joanna’s Candelit Soirée at Kidogo Arthouse

Joanna’s Candelit Soirée at Kidogo Arthouse
w/ Fiona Rea, Nigel Healy
Saturday, August 10, 2023

Hosted by Joanna Morrison at Kidogo Arthouse, Joanna’s Candelit Soirée paired a home cooked style meal with the captivating melodies of Fiona Rea and Nigel Heal. 

Kidogo Arthouse provided the ultimate intimate setting for the soiree to occur. Walking into the venue, guests could quickly get their first drink and admire the indigenous artwork on the walls. As the event got underway, patrons made their way into the intimate seated main area through a small, almost hobbit-sized doorway and were directed to the available seats. Photos taken by Yebo photography, showed ballet dancers in various poses.

On delivery of the entree and mains, Fiona Rea and Nigel Healy took to the stage to play the first set of their show. Starting with an original love song by Fiona, the audience enjoyed the slow, jazzy style vocals and guitars.

Fiona Rea

Nigel followed to sing a Nanci Griffith song called Once in a Very Blue Moon. Nigel's angelic voice filled the room while the harmonies from both singers complemented the tune perfectly. When singing Summers End by John Prime, they made you feel like you should be daydreaming in front of a fire in the lounge room on a rainy day.

The set brought together a mix of Irish covers and original music by Fiona Rea; taking stories from her and her family's life and transforming them into song, which brought out an array of emotions from the audience.

Fiona and Nigel have an amazing dynamic as a duo. Between each song, Fiona was exceptionally engaging with the audience, bringing her personality and humour out for all to see.

Fiona Rea and Nigel Healy

Fiona also pulled on the heart strings with her original music. Drawing on her experiences and the experiences of people in Fiona’s life, a couple of the songs sung, drew on sadder experiences. One song spoke about Fiona’s dad being commissioned to build for Irish people who came to Australia as a result of the famine in Ireland. The song would have really struck a chord with Irish people who had to leave their home country. Another song was written during COVID-19 as a result of a friend whose mum passed away in Ireland and watched the funeral by Zoom.

Fiona and Nigel ended the night singing a cover of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 You. Fiona told the story of how she was a little sceptical at first about covering the song as she did not want to dishonour Sinead’s life. But her concerns were not warranted, as she did justice to O'Connor's legacy with a beautiful rendition that got the audience singing along too.


Photos by Linda Dunjey