Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Our compere takes us through working with Bronny and Elizabeth in an entertaining, though meandering hour long Bronte enthusiasts’ tour of their work. This is as much to do with the relationship between the host and her ensemble – Bronny – who is apparently on a care in the community programme as well as the American songstress Elizabeth. Through set pieces and sketches, music from Kate Bush and film references from throughout we are entertained and not a little nervous as to where we are all going.
We are in a downstairs bar to hear how much of a genius the Brontes were with a compere that is all finery and frippery. She introduces Bronny and Elizabeth as her accomplices in what turns out to be a romp through songs associated with Yorkshire, the tension between Yorkshire and Cornwall in claiming the Brontes and some good natured nonsense about naming as many Bronte references as you can in 15 minutes.
This was meandering and at times hard to follow. The overarching structure kept it together though we have moved on a bit from both the Big Society and care in the community. It was here that it left me a bit cold. There are plenty of narrative devices available to create tension between characters that mean you don’t have to label someone as simple and special needs in order to elicit some humour. I found that difficult and know many who would find it worse.
It is slightly annoying because the three performers are much better than this. They have the cabaret off to a tee and would benefit from much deeper material. What they do have works – Branny’s big number the rap is inspired as is managing to get having a gangbang into the piece. Elizabeth can sing and Bronny and our compere can act and interact with the audience. Their audience work is particularly good; the glitter came from an earlier show – honest
It did not need much by way of set and what we had was more than adequate. This works as a piece of theatre very well and if you thought free shows meant they weren’t particularly good this blows that away. The integration of music, the audience and performances between them made this easy on the eye and ear. I would love to see them perform something different so will be looking out for them in the future – so should you.