Emily Hennessey

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Reviewed by: Alex WoodKali is the Hindu goddess of empowerment – mother to Ganesh, husband to Shiva. Her life is one of war, of love, and family – a grand, epic story with demons, catastrophe and a whole saga of creation. A tale so massive perhaps, that to even recount it all with any form of success seems like a huge challenge – one confronted by storyteller Emily Hennessey, and sitar player Sheema Mukherjee. The results, it must be said from the off, made for some exciting theatre.

A lot of this came down to the abilities of the performing duo. Hennessey, narrating the story alone for almost 100 minutes, laced the saga of Kali with humor, emotion and excitement, endearing the audience and keeping us captivated throughout. With understated precision she lyrically conjured up the lives and visions of Shiva, of Parvati and the pantheon of gods that surrounded them without missing a single beat, using subtle changes in stance, tone and bearing to switch between different figures with ease.