Theatre | Following a songbird | Ken Longworth
IT is appropriate that Catherine Alcorn’s Go Your Own Way, a touring show looking at the life and songs of Fleetwood Mac rock band member Christine McVie, is being staged at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre.
McVie, who was a vocalist, keyboard player and songwriter with Fleetwood Mac from 1970 until 1998, came out of retirement in 2014 to join other legendary members of the band in a global tour that included two sold-out shows at nearby Pokolbin’s Hope Estate in November, 2015.
Ironically, when Alcorn first staged Go Your Own Way at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2013, Christine McVie was repeatedly rejecting offers to return to performing and touring.
Alcorn and the show’s writer, Diana Simmonds, have regularly got together to update it for capital city seasons and tours. What began as a 60-minute cabaret-style show is now a moving 80-minute musical that shows how the things that happened in McVie’s life affected the songs she wrote and performed. Catherine Alcorn is joined in delivering the songs by band members and background vocalists.
Alcorn first showed her talents for putting together and presenting shows about well-known performers with The Divine Miss Bette, in which she stepped into Bette Middler’s shoes. It played to a sold-out audience at Cessnock last year.
Go Your Own Way: A Tribute to Christine McVie can be seen at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, May 11, at 7.30pm. Tickets, $45 to $55, can be bought from the theatre box office, 4993 4266.
The show includes many of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, most of which were written or co-written by McVie. Her songs include Over My Head, Say You Love Me, You Make Loving Fun, Don’t Stop, Little Lies, As Long as You Follow and Songbird. The show’s title number is by Lindsey Buckingham.
In her initial years with Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie was often overshadowed by a more colourful female member, Stevie Nicks, even though many of her songs were among the group’s best-sellers. It was often her relationships that made news stories. Originally a member of the band Chicken Shack, she joined Fleetwood Mac after marrying its bass guitarist John McVie in 1968. The couple divorced in 1976, and she subsequently became engaged to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, but they broke up before his death. Her second marriage, to keyboardist Eddy Quintella, likewise ended in divorce. It’s hardly surprising that her best-selling songs, including Got a Hold on Me and Love Will Show Us How, reflected what was happening in her life. Now aged 73, she and Lindsey Buckingham have a new album that will be released this year.