This is going to be a very tricky review to write, not because I didn’t enjoy the show, but because I went in not knowing what to expect, and came out feeling that wonderful sense of artistic confusion which everyone who visits the fringe should experience at some point. As essential as this feeling is, it is not an easy one to explain or describe, but I shall do my very best.
The concept is fairly simple: a cabaret billed as ‘a trawl through the troubled minds of musical theatre’s most famous female characters’. Salvi plays the part of a woman in some sort of an asylum, performing a wonderful collection of show tunes sung by the most unstable of musical theatre’s female characters. Complete with witty props, speedy on-stage costume changes and audience participation, it is an interactive and exciting show which deserves to do well at the fringe.
The interactive audience participation elements of the performance were highly entertaining for both those chosen to participate and those watching from the relative safety of one of the pews. Salvi had to work hard to warm the audience to the mad sense of chaos and to bring us to relish the unexpected, but she stuck at it and by the end of the show everyone was eating out of her palm.
I think the venue very much changes the tone of the performance. It shouldn’t make a difference, but some part of my brain was distracted by the imposing church architecture reminiscent of strict rules and regulations, and I found it difficult to let go of any inhibitions holding me back. To make the most of this show you will have to thoroughly immerse yourself in the mad world which Salvi has constructed, and pretend that you are in a cosy underground bar at 10 o’clock at night, with a bottle of wine on the table.
Once you have let your hair down, you will be thoroughly rewarded with a highly energetic and engaging performance from a truly exceptional singer. This is not a show for the shy and retiring, but if you are looking for belting tunes and an uplifting message to brighten up your afternoon, this is a show for you.
Aug 7-8,10,12,14-15,17,19,21-22,24,26,28-29,31 at 18:00
Aug 11,18,25 at 18:30; Aug 16,23 at 20:30
St John's Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ (Church at St John's)
Ticket prices £10.00 (£8.00)