Jess Robinson: Mighty Voice
First-rate music and impressions entertaining become overbearing
This article is from 2014.
‘I am what I am,’ Jess Robinson booms with a vocal power that could move mountains. But she is also what she is not, powering through a series of first-rate impressions of celebs, including Jordan Kate Bush, Liza Minnelli and Shirley Bassey. Robinson has said she is destined to do impressions, and mixing this with her vocals and born-to-be-onstage persona – well, that’s good old-fashioned entertainment, folks!
Working the crowd like a seasoned pro, the former drama school pupil works wry comments (‘when I was a kid I was really annoying with my impressions’) between musical numbers. Using two spinning wheels, one with celebrity names and the other with songs titles, shows she can deliver on the spot, the unrehearsed combos often reducing both Robinson and talent-in-her-own-right pianist and singer Kirsty Newton into pleasingly off-script fits of giggles.
There is also audience participation (Nigel does himself proud), but, like the multi-coloured glitter and sequins onstage that are initially dazzling before becoming overbearing, less would definitely be more. I’ll be able to hear the eardrum-splitting Bjork impression for weeks, and the white-knuckle roll call of impressions at the end is impressive, but feels like overegging what is already a very rich, sugary pudding.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 11), 9.40pm, £9-£11.50 (£8-£10.50).