Brighton Fringe 2010
Miss Hope Springs
Miss Hope Springs/Ty Jeffries
Venue: The Brunswick
Former Las Vegas showgirl and star, Miss Hope Springs (written and performed by alternative drag artist Ty Jeffries) takes us through her life and loves in words and original songs, a mix of "belting showstoppers and bittersweet torch songs."
Engaged to Frank Sinatra, close to Bert Bacharach, involved with"nothing pee wee about" Pee Wee Herman, Miss Hope Springs steps onto the stage (played by Ty Jeffries), arguing with her off stage husband Irving). The band are late, but this doesn’t stop Miss Hope beginning an evening that will encompass tales from her life on and off the stage in a lounge-style cabaret performances that hits outstanding from early on and maintains that standard all the way through. We soon forget the Brunswick. We are in The Starlight lounge, in the company of "the star who put the star in the starlight lounge."
She starts the show alone on the piano, the double bassist arrives It’s a playful start to the evening. The music doesn’t disappoint, not once, all reminiscent of an age we feel nostalgia for, even if we are too young to remember it; we remember it through the infectious charisma and musical talent of Miss Hope Springs. All the songs are penned by Ty herself and they’re a repertoire to be reckoned with. If the world were here, they’d most definitely sing along.
This is a show about opening your heart and listening to the music within. The audience certainly opened their hearts, charmed and enlivened. A "demure, Irish Lithuanian girl classily plying her wares", Jeffries delivers a sharply written script, full of quick fire jokes and one liners, with a fair helping of witty asides. Her side swipes are delivered head on and her encounter with Cowerd had us in fits.
Her backing trio delivered the piano, double bass and percussion goods in a show full of the right assets, cracking songs and a slow burning charismatic lead.
A little too much reliance on scripted material, the show needed a bit more improvised banter with the audience. That only happened once or twice and, when it did, it really brought the venue to life, so a bit more of that, please!
The songs were all of top-drawer standard, my personal favourite was The Devil Made Me Do It.
Ty Jeffies is an accomplished, consumate professional singer, songwriter, comedienne and, fine character actor as Miss Hope Springs The key thing from a theatre point of view is how fully and convincingly Ty steps into the skin of the character, animating her believably from start to finish with a well written set of autobiographical episodes along the way
This outstanding essence lies in a stellar portrayal of a jaded, fading star. Quite simply, brilliant.