Edinburgh Fringe 2022
This multi-media performance stitches together the life of singer, actor, poet and muse, Nico through monologue, poetry, song, recordings, and dance in a speedy, hallucinatory 45 minute trip that is a lucid, moving portrait of this complex artist.
Actor, poet, singer, model, and Velvet Underground cult figure Nico was nothing if not outré. This multi-media performance stitches together the life of Nico through monologue, poetry, song, recordings, and dance in a speedy, hallucinatory 45 minute trip that is a lucid, moving portrait of this complex artist.
The performer and writer Margherita Remotti bears an uncanny resemblance to Nico. From the moment she steps on stage and utters her first words in her signature deep tones you are put under the spell of Nico. Remotti takes centre stage against a backdrop of spiralling geometries that signal both the aesthetics of the 60’s and the hallucinatory college of one-sided conversations that introduce the key figures in Nico’s life, namely Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison, an American sergeant, her father and her son. Iconic and poetic images are back projected, the stage is soaked in red light. The telephone rings. It’s Andy Warhol calling (again) to tell her she missed Jim Morrison’s funeral. It is absurd and tragic. She convinces her child to sing a lullaby with her by getting the youngster to smoke pot. It’s horrifying and impossibly tender. This is Nico.
The Village Voice critic Richard Goldstein once described Nico’s voice as sounding “something like a cello getting up in the morning”, which Remotti perfectly captures when she takes to the microphone for her spine-tingling rendition of I Will Be Your Mirror. If anything, I would have liked to have heard more of Remotti singing Nico.
Fata Morgana takes its title from Nico’s last album a live documentary recording made in the final year of Nico’s life. It is a fitting title that captures Remotti’s luminous performance that is a mirage of Nico herself.
This show is a real hidden gem and I strongly recommend this to anyone interested in Warhol’s Factory, the Velvet Underground, Pop culture and the mistress of darkness herself, Nico.