Merrill Grant: A Twentieth Century Fox
A cabaret homage to silver-screen greats
This article is from 2010.
With her Southern twang, strawberry-blonde hair, beaming smile and can-do attitude, Merrill Grant is the epitome of a 1930s belle. Which is just jim-dandy, given the cabaret act she’s bringing to this year’s Fringe. Inspired by her love of Shirley Temple, Twentieth Century Fox celebrates a roster of Hollywood greats, from Temple herself to Alice Faye and Julie Andrews. ‘I love everything about Shirley, from her character to her musicality, so I really just built the show from there,’ explains Grant, who’s set to charm the audience with quirky numbers such as ‘Be Optimistic’, ‘Goodnight My Love’ and ‘My Favourite Things’.
A musical romp from a bygone era, she hopes her US success transfers across the pond: ‘People talk about celebrities today, but these women were real stars,’ enthuses Grant, who still treasures her grandmother’s Shirley Temple doll, complete with droopy curls and faded dress, as well as a letter she received from Temple. ‘I was bowled over. It meant such a lot. When I get on stage, I like to think that Shirley is looking back, proud of the performance she sees.’
Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu, 556 6550, until Mon 30 Aug (not Mon 16), 2.45pm, £10 (£9).