From the moment Taylor Nobes steps on stage, she appears to be right at home.

The set is simple: a piano, a microphone and white projector screen behind the performer. Naturally, the show opens with Nobes lip-syncing Celine Dion’s anthem My Heart Will Go On.

Nobes is a larger-than-life character on stage. While she is playing herself, her dancing and singing is theatrical and heightened and the main source of humour. Her interactions with the audience are also effortless, which provide another layer of engagement for the audience.

My Heart May Or May No Go On is a personal piece of work. Nobes’ love of music is a motif throughout the 60-minute show – one of her first memories is being in car with her dad listening to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, a cue for another lip-syncing number.

The audience is taken through her primary and high school years – a time of angst, heartbreak, and revenge – supported by a range of original songs and personal photos and videos that are projected behind the performer. These artefacts from Nobes’ life bring an authenticity to the piece that reminds the audience that the production is grounded in truth.

Nobes interrogates themes of mental illness with sensitivity. She offers up a vulnerability through the re-telling of her story, but leaves out specifics, perhaps to allow space for audiences to see themselves in production.

The original songs throughout My Heart May Or May Not Go On range from satirical (a song about narcissism) to heartbreaking (a ballad dedicated to a younger self), and showcase Nobes’ talents in a broad spectrum of songwriting.

The most powerful storyline in the show is that of friendship. Nobes is accompanied on stage by Samuel Lau on piano, who is not only a talented musician, but Nobes’s best friend. Reflections on their relationship and Lau’s tender, yet comical, role on stage ties the production together beautifully.

The Heart May Or May Not Go On was presented at Nexus Arts for one night only as part of the 2024 Cabaret Fringe Festival, which continues until June 2.

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