Reviewer: Simon Topping
Cinebra are back at the Fringe! Their new offering introduces us to Glenda and Rita; stars of a bygone age returned for one last hurrah, guiding us through their beloved back history of movie triumphs in the 1930’s and 40’s in the form of song, scene re-enactment and back and forth badinage.
The first thing the gathering throng cannot help but notice about Glenda and Rita is how absolutely striking they both look. Painted in monochrome, as they are stars of the pre-colour film era and advocate black and white roles for black and white movie actresses; Rita is bedecked in a glorious white, Marilyn Monroe style dress with Glenda sparkling at the audience, shimmering all in grey like a two-tone Jane Russell.
The brainchild of Alexander Joseph (Glenda) and Ro Roberts (Rita) the show is a marvellously anarchic romp that draws the audience completely into the crazy, yet classy, world they have created for us.
Roberts is an astounding naturalistic actor brimming with a charisma that magnetises all the eyes in the performance space to his feminine alter ego. Joseph is a master at creating grotesque comedy characters, his face pulling, constrained clowning and witty one-liners bringing joy and laughter throughout. Above all, it is the juxtaposition of their contrasting styles that make them so engrossing to watch and a winning combination.
As the performance goes on it is easy to tell that Joseph and Roberts not only love film but are intensely geeky about it too. This brings an added element of craft to the show that underpins the eloquence of the piece.
As Glenda gets more sozzled and Rita tells of her romance woes the tension and comedy racks up. We are treated to some fabulously funny and touching songs throughout; none more so than the stirring finale.
As the show closes we see Glenda and Rita’s star fade, but Cinebra’s very much on the rise, in glorious full technicolour.
This is a must-see show from two amazingly talented performers.
Runs 15th May and 3rd June 2018 at The Spiegeltent: Bosco