Edinburgh Fringe 2017
“Tragic diva Glenda Campari (Nina Baldini) has travelled the world, searching for her favourite fierce females for this world premiere cabaret. She’s assembled a fruity international menu of hilarious women for a juicy variety show you will not forget. “
Full of variety and devil-may-care confidence, this all-female cabaret more than delivered on its fruity promise of acts drawn from the world of clown, comedy, burlesque, and even a performing pooch. A full house at C.C Blooms enjoyed an hour in the company of a well-hosted cabaret show that felt up-beat, at ease with itself and, only occasionally, a little self-indulgent. When acts were not performing they sat among the audience, clapping and cheering in ways that rigged the vote – the audience were more than capable of reacting without the louder voices and screams of delight from the cast.
That’s my only quibble in a show that felt fresh and creative. Some acts worked better than others, but that’s the nature of variety and I was impressed at how the evening unfolded – we were often surprised, things took different turns and there was plenty to enjoy and even be fascinated by. A little mmore stagecraft here and there – clarity, entrances and exits would benefit the show. Capable performers were on show here, using the skills they had, making authentic and regular contact with the audience. Plenty of comedy, cheeky one-liners, wit and a bit of rule-breaking – the ingredients of good, offbeat cabaret. No audience members were humiliated and this audience interaction was an added asset to the show, all hosted with poise by our Carmen Miranda-ish Glenda Campari (Nina Baldini). We felt involved. Not too much – just enough to add to the value being produced on stage before us.
I don’t want to tell you specifically about any of the acts because that would spoil the surprise and the feast. The whole show was well ordered, ended on a burlequish high and I felt that every performer was focused, wholly committed and also enjoying it as much as we were. It felt celebratory, rough round the edges for good reasons, and well worth seeing. Tightening it just a bit would help, not hinder, but they mustn’t lose the brashness and the sense of experimentation with the material and the genre that form this fruity hour.
Overall, I am happy to recommend this cabaret show for its breadth of acts, which manages to never lose its anchor to a classic cabaret format that left the audience clapping with delight, glad they were there. Wanting more. Me too.