Brighton Fringe 2011
Ty Jeffries, composrer, lyricist, perfomer is, once again, Miss Hope Springs and excellent in a new show of original songs and tales from Paris and beyond at the intimate Marlborough Theatre.
Miss Hope Springs, the "ex-Vegas Showgirl takes us into her world of showbiz, love, loss, and the joys of the stage, with a hugely talented array of original songs, wit, and some deft storytelling, laced with a little improvisation and audience banter.
A very strong beginning creates a moment of electric theatre as the recorded into music is faded slowly and Miss Hope takes to the stage, takes up the piano, and seamlessly, even magically, fades in. And then she is there. All charimsa and direct contact with each and every one of us.
The Marlborough proves to be a more intimate setting than the Brunswick in her 2010 showing at the Brighton Fringe. We are closer to the highly engaging eyebrow lifts, cheeky twinkles and that signature sad, slightly upward gaze into an elusive somehwere, perhaps over the rainbow.
The songs are, of course the highlight of the show, though the storytelling and many sharp and witty one liners, gild the evening with a little extra comedy and narrative gold. Ty Jeffies is simply an outstanding performer and though, as last year, I would have liked to have seen her go off-script a bit more – she is such an easy improviser – and also would have welcomed the band that had graced the Brunswick stage with such ability and skill – the strength of this as musical theatre still gives it stellar quality. The ingredients: engaging lyrics, accessible, nostalgic tunes with enough originality and inventiveness to keep the format fresh and alive. And, of course, the sheer charisma of the showgirl and the tragicomic tales that accompany the repertoire of songs.
It all ended too quickly, the encore too short for an audience that wanted more. Five star, without a doubt.