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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Music for desperate nights: Desperate Divas @St_JamesTheatre

Desperate Divas
It was only for one night, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the Desperate Divas return (if they can find the time between their busy schedules).

Tiffany Graves and Anita Louise Combe presented their show last Sunday about love and the fruitless pursuit of it. It was inspired by their real-life adventures dating men (and sometimes the same men). Both are exceptional singers with long careers on the West End. Their voices and be powerful yet nuanced - and when singing together they produced some sublime harmonies in this show.

The premise was that they are two young ladies on the internet dating scene. The most memorable moments from the evening came from the lesser known songs. Combe’s performance of Where In The World is My Prince, from William Finn and James Lapine’s musical Little Miss Sunshine, was a delight. Graves was sweet singing about unrequited like in Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel’s song, Parsley. Combe also played up her Australian roots, with My Shattered Illusion (or pronounced in Australian, Moye Shaahturd Eelooshon).

They capitalised on what seems to be a regular occurrence at cabaret performances nowadays, people taking photos, to encourage everyone to take pictures and live tweet it. It has been a while since I live tweeted anything but this time at least it was something lovely (well the ladies are lovely, the quality of the photography is a bit suspect). Of course when your audience takes the pictures they may not show your best side...

Graves and Combe closed their show with music from Chicago. Both had appeared at various times in the Kander and Ebb musical. Their familiarity with with the material came through as they sung Class with a bitterness in the phrasing that made seem fresh and new.

As they explain in the show, it has taken them a while from coming up with the idea to do the show to actually putting it on as they are both getting ready to appear in new shows. Graves will be seen in the touring production of The Producers as "If you got it, flaunt it" Ulla. Combe will be the demure Tessie Tura in Gypsy. But hopefully it won’t be too long before we see them appear again in their cabaret show.


First impressions with @johnnyfoxlondon are as follows…

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