Duke Special’s Gramophone Club recorded at the Accidental Theatre in Belfast offers a showcase section where a new artist is introduced to Duke Special’s audience.
Juanita Rea explains that she plays with various artistic practices, or more precisely has a playful attitude towards her many crafts. There is poetry, visual arts, songs, often delivered in combination and venturing into uncomfortably dark territory, mental health, sexual abuse, which suggests anything other than the playful approach which produces the material.
After some gentle questioning, the audience is offered the poems “Rebirth” and “Peering through pen and paper ”. The first suggests a sense of confrontation, with abuse, or with the abuser, at a point when they no longer wield power over the abused, the second suggests that the arts, in this instance writing, can offer solace in difficult circumstances as well as the potential to understand, analyse and perhaps provide an avenue to move beyond adversity.
The final piece sees Rea accompanied by Duke Special; gentle piano provides the underlay for poetry, and vocals, the aim of the journey, emancipation, to be ultimately, “Fearless”.
You can see the performance at the link below.