Reviewers should never mention topics outwith the artists’ control. The journey, the seats, the stairs or the toilets nor the TEMPERATURE but……they do.
I mention the heat here because Tim McArthur, who shared his new show Sister Mary’s Playtime, in preview, at the Arts Theatre Upstairs, Leicester Square performed in a complete nun’s habit. Feet bedecked in taps. For over an hour. At FULL THROTTLE and in FULL VOICE! We, however, could barely pick up our gin and tonics.
The audience members were perspiring as if in a Tennessee Williams revival in Arizona. So moist, they were even beyond wiping away the glistening sweat beading lip and brow and well, everywhere.
We were eventually cajoled out of our seats for the opening “prayer” and were galvanised enough to join in the Hand-BAG! Freezer-BAG! Ball-BAG! shout-along.
This fantastic sing-a-long, do actions-a-long, shriek-a-long is supported by the deliciously wonderful Brother Mathew on the ivories and even the little timing glitches that we expect in preview, dare I say it, were greeted warmly by a now noisy and appreciative audience.
I particularly enjoyed the “interview” segment at the end of the show, McArthur is a skilled and highly entertaining interviewer, allowing guests to make us laugh too. And the surprise guest was astoundingly good. (No spoiler alert here).
Sister Mary is outrageously rude, camp, cheeky with enough political bite to make someone (me) snort their beer and nearly choke. Expect audience participation, to be pulled up (not off) on stage and some sort of cake as a reward for joyously joining in with Musical Theatre faves that are just knocked out of the park by this fabulous performer. A perfect Edinburgh show!
Playing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 3-26 August 2018 @ 5pm
Frankenstein Pub, 26 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN
Lil Warren is a writer and director, an old Edinburgh Festival lag, and co-host on Free Seed on Soho Radio CULTURE CHANNEL.