Ali McGregor’s Alchemy (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

Ali McGregor’s Alchemy

Opera-trained cabaret diva does trashy 80s hits

Ali McGregor has the world’s most glittery shoes. The Australian chanteuse is keen to point them out, hoisting her leg up to show the sparkle. McGregor’s 2012 Fringe show ‘Alchemy’ holds parallels with her golden choice of footwear, marrying exquisite cabaret with dazzling ‘trash’, mostly in the form of 80s pop songs. A truly divine singer, a luscious version of ‘Tainted Love’ precedes an introduction to the three-strong band, who play the intricate melody to jazz classic ‘Making Whoopee’ while McGregor sings the lyrics to Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’. Her stage talk is equally good: we’re regaled with informal tales of her operatic training, discovering boys and love of Madonna.

Throughout McGregor brings fresh life to popular songs: robotic warbling unleashed in a Blur cover; darkly atmospheric rendering of Fine Young Cannibals’ ‘Jonny Come on Home’ and sensual version of Madonna’s ‘Spanish Lullaby’ all spun out from her musical back catalogue. From rockier roots is ‘the sexiest song ever written’, KISS’ ‘I Was Made for Loving You’ and the evening’s most unexpected addition, a Prodigy medley which transforms ‘Firestarter’ into the ‘boogie woogie blues’. A ‘trash’ appropriate cover of Britney’s ‘Oops I did it Again’ ends a joyous and entertaining hour.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until Sun 26 Aug, 9.10pm, £14 (£13).

Ali McGregor's Alchemy

  • 4 stars

Ali McGregor and Assembly. Ali McGregor returns to Edinburgh with her brand new show. Following from successes with La Clique, Opera Burlesque and Jazz Cigarette, Alchemy draws on her influences, from opera and cabaret, to trashy 80s pop divas. With the finest jazz musicians, she creates unique hybrids from popular songs…