Wicked musical comedy in every conceivable way
This article is from 2009.
The ease with which Pippa Evans slips between her psychotic characters in this cabaret-style show is an instant reminder of why she was shortlisted for an if.comedy Best Newcomer award last year. However, there is an element of patchiness about her evening’s entertainment that undermines those impressive skills. Greeted at the door by a slightly unhinged Pleasance employee, the audience are given Bingo cards and pens – an inspired touch that fills up the occasionally over-long costume changes – before being greeted by host and ageing star Julie Mansize. Accompanied on keyboard by her son, Barry Manilow, she strikes up an instant rapport with the audience through her dated performance-style, an energy that’s recreated when Evans’ recurring creation Loretta Maine – whose sweet guitar melodies belie her certifiably crazy lyrics – steps on stage.
These brilliant, bonkers moments are weakened by the appearance of less well-developed characters, as well as the show’s abrupt ending. Yet Evans’ blend of dry asides and in-your-face dramatics is justifiably establishing her as a major Fringe attraction on only her second solo outing.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 6.20pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9).