“Knitting songs” may sound like a very niche market but, with this show, Canadian singer Melanie Gall shows just how popular they were and how many there were during the World Wars. In her research into the subject, Melanie has unearthed over 100 of these songs which were previously essentially lost, and her Knitting Cabaret was a chance for her audience to hear a small selection of them, along with a bit of their history. The songs were not only about knitting, but also “knit-along” songs, and the audience were encouraged to bring along their own knitting (and many of them did).
Titles including “I Wonder Who’s Knitting for Me”, “Pick Up Your Knitting” and “More Power to Your Knitting, Nell!” encouraged women at home in Britain and North America to do their part by knitting for the men at the front during both World Wars, and knitting in fact became something of a craze with women not only knitting at home, but on buses and trains.
Melanie brought the whole subject vividly to life, with a great warmth and sense of humour, and of course a wonderful singing voice, and although I haven’t knitted for quite a few years, by the end of the show I was itching to pick up some yarn and needles and get knitting.
Review by Lisa Sibbald
Stitch in Time: A Knitting Cabaret
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall - Theatre 3
Aug 3-4, 6-11, 13-17
Group: Melanie Gall Presents