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Review: Goddess

Cooking up a storm in this kitchen-based musical

(PG)

    No place like home: Laura Michelle Kelly starring in Goddess
    No place like home: Laura Michelle Kelly starring in Goddess

    The kitchen is an unlikely setting for a musical, but for a lot of women it's the only place they ever get to sing. I for one regularly perform showstoppers at the stove while making chicken soup and my kneidels have never suffered - even when I throw in a few jazzy dance moves. And I am not alone.

    Some time ago, Joanna Weinberg, a South-African living in Australia, created a one-woman show - Sinksongs - while doing the washing-up. Now it's been made into one of the cheeriest little films I've seen this year, albeit with a title that conjures up Ursula Andress in a toga rather than super-talented Laura Michelle Kelly in a pair of Marigolds.

    Kelly, who won an Olivier as Mary Poppins, plays housewife Elspeth Dickens, a mother of unruly twin boys living in picturesque Tasmania with her whale-saving husband (Boyzone's Ronan Keating) who is permanently away at sea. Lonely with only the toddlers and a goat called Stephen for company, Elspeth channels her frustration into writing amusing little songs which she performs on a webcam in her kitchen.

    She decides to go public with her talent on the net, quickly building up a following which in turn attracts the attention of an advertising agency which invites her to be the star of a computer campaign. Bollywood has long been using such thin storylines to fuel hours of elaborate musicals and while working in India, I grew to love them in much the same way I loved this more compact (104 minutes) but equally beguiling production by director Mark Lamprell. Kelly is captivating as the domestic chanteuse and in his small role Keating doesn't disappoint.

    But it is Magda Szubanski of Kath and Kim fame who scene-steals as the advertising executive, proving that it really isn't over until the fat lady sings.

    Kelly is captivating as the domestic chanteuse and Keating does not disappoint

    So hats off - or maybe aprons - to Joanna Weinberg for making the kitchen drama something to sing about.

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