Cat Commander's solo show combines wine, woman and song into a tragicomic monologue/song series that never really scratches the surface too deeply. There are plenty of attempts to achieve poignancy and humour, but neither are hit with enough force or vigour to make the show fully cohesive and enjoyable as a whole. As light entertainment goes, it's fine, but its attempts to be more don't really work.

Cat Commander is an Aussie songstress, and this show combines her enjoyably simple songs with character monologues, presumably drawn from her own life. If this is the case, it's been a bumpy ride to the present day, but there's something unshakeably banal about it. If there is a plot to be pieced together, it's about a bad break-up - but none of the insights are original, they're just the same old platitudes pop-song-writers have been trading on for the past umpteen years - and the same issue surrounds the music too.

It's not that this is bad music - and I would never claim enough knowledge to review music - but, to me, this just sounds like the 90s girl-with-a-guitar stuff again, no more ambitious than a pub ballad or two. It's all perfectly pleasant as easy listening goes, but this is not a show that wants to be easily enjoyable: Commander has combined her songs and monologues to try and create something a little more ambitious - but the result is rather difficult to enjoy.

Both elements are just a little too hackneyed. The monologues aren't particularly insightful or funny, and the story they tell just isn't particularly striking - nor is there a clear plot or through-line. And the songs are cute and pretty, but not poignant or interesting enough to engender an interest in their subject matter. Although this hasn't stopped Commander from trying to create a greater sense of entertainment beyond the light - including a number of dramatic lighting changes, her removing her clothes and numerous swigs from various bottles of booze on the side table.

The sad thing is, as light entertainment goes, the songs are perfectly fine - but this show just feels like an attempt to make more of them than they actually are. If the monologues told an interesting story, or had a particularly poignant or funny slant, there might be something to it, but as it stands it's hard to enjoy the music in this context, and the context feels out of place.

Cat Commander is; Falling, at Hen and ChickensChris Hislop reviews Cat Commander is; Falling at the Hen and Chickens.2