- Kelly Apter
- 14 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Frances Barber shines as a faded star trying to re-visit former glories
Billie Trix started life as the narrator of 2001 musical, Closer to Heaven. But, as only befits a fictional star of such stature, she's finally got her own one-woman show.
Looking back over a career of highs (the lead role in cult film The Masturbation of Race) and lows (living in a telephone box for ten years), Trix serves up a banquet of anecdotes, with bitterness sprinkled on every bite.
Dressed in black suit, push-up bustier and crucifixes ("that bitch Madonna stole my style"), Frances Barber shines bright as this faded star. A woman who knew how to be in the right place at the right time, Trix supposedly inspired Andy Warhol to create his Campbell's Soup work and Tracey Emin to make My Bed.
From Berlin to New York, and from the sublime to the ridiculous, Trix has lived a life that (literally) beggars belief. She's rubbed shoulders with Jean-Paul Sartre and Donald Trump, failed horribly at motherhood, and here she is to tell us all about it – inbetween copious snorts of cocaine.
Jonathan Harvey's script is crammed with witty lines and clever cultural references, interwoven with six catchy songs by Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (two from the original musical, four new). You wouldn't want her in your life, but an hour with Billie Trix and her celebrity-strewn bile is a blast.
Assembly Rooms, until 24 Aug, 9.40pm, £15 (£14).