Writer: Ty Jeffries
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
It’s Miss Hope Springs is a classic take on cabaret as the lady in question tells stories about her life in LA, Vegas and Paris interspersed with songs from an elaborate and lengthy repertoire, combining innuendo and misfortune with humour to create a tragi-comic tail that is possibly only a few steps removed from the real life stories of many failed actors and would-be entertainers.
With celebrity endorsements from the likes of Marc Almond, Jonathan Ross, Julian Clary and Pete Waterman, Hope is clearly not short of big name fans, but the opening couple of routines in this show feel slightly adrift in the less than intimate Assembly Bijou as jokes don’t land well and pauses meant to be accompanied by laughter go on slightly longer than they really ought to do.
It takes until the third story, set in Paris and accompanied by the very witty and evocative song Pigalle for everything to really start to gel together. From there on in, it becomes a very polished performance demonstrating why Hope gets the attention she does from so many big names.
Self-deprecating humour combines with a real gift for storytelling and old Bob Monkhouse classics about dying peacefully in your sleep rather than screaming in terror like your passengers are weaved into bigger routines and songs that go a long way beyond the stereotypes you might initially expect.
The show is the descendant of music hall and old style Las Vegas camp rather than anything associated with the current drag scene, and it’s all the better for it. After the shaky start, Ty Jefferies aka Hope Springs wins the audience over and holds them in Hope’s spell until the show comes to an end and the real world returns.
Runs until 24 August 2019 | Image: Contributed