Theatre and book reviews by Janice Dempsey
You Give Me Fever by Jack Lynch
The Back Room of the Star Inn, Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3TY
23-27 May 2017 at 8pm
A re-telling in modern terms of the classical Greek myth of Theseus, Ariadne and Phaedra, seamlessly incorporating a score of well-loved hit songs performed by Pippa Winslow in a cabaret setting. An imaginative, engaging piece of musical theatre.
In the small, intimate setting of the Star’s Back Room this week, there’s a show that surprised and delighted us with its wit and smooth presentation. The lush range of Pippa Winslow’s voice, both technical and emotional, and her perfect feel for pace in the narrative, translated a little-known ancient myth into a tale that everyone could relate to.
Effortlessly moving from spoken narrative into jazz singing and back again, Winslow held us entranced. She’s able to change register with lightning speed. We particularly enjoyed Zing Went the Strings of my Heart, her bitchy portrayal of a lisping Ariadne through the jealous eyes of Phaedra: a masterly piece of comedy. We loved Comes Love in the voice of Daedelas, the man who made wings for Icarus. Her original interpretation of Girl from Ipanema, was also a highlight. She could hit a note of pathos, too, as in One for my Baby. Sensuality dripped in every note of I am in Love and many others of the songs in this rich score.
The accompanying guitarist, James Shannon, gave the musical numbers sensitive support with his arrangements. He did emerge from anonymity once, memorably, but no spoilers!
You Give me Fever was at the Yvonne Arnaud Mill Studio last year, and we’re very glad of a second chance to see it as it tours the South East. It’s a short show of two 35-minute acts, with an interval, a great addition to a night out. The fast pace, witty writing and character acting and brilliant musical performances make it a go-see.
Tickets for this week can be purchased from http://www.guildfordfringe.com/events-archive/you-give-me-fever-the-phaedra-cabaret/