12 – 30 Aug (not 17 or 24)
2225-2335, Assembly George Street
If the Fringe ever decides to have an anthem, it should be sung by Camille O’Sullivan.
Now a much-anticipated and adored regular in Edinburgh, this year she returns with a new show in Chameleon, a collection of new songs which run the full range of emotion as the ‘Queen of the Fringe’ demonstrates yet again her marvellous vocal prowess.
She peels back layers from the songs with her passionate and powerful delivery; just as she peels away layers from her outfit, transforming from the black lace grace of her entrance to the showgirl glamour of her finale in the space of her 70 minute set.
The new songs are all great choices, from the rawness of Cohen’s ‘Anthem’ to the hilariously-delivered cover of Tom Waits’ ‘God’s Away on Business’, seeing a slightly crazed Camille on her knees at the front of the stage, pulling expressions and playing with a set of miniature handbells.
Standouts also include an unaccompanied rendition of Brel’s ‘Amsterdam’, during which the only sound to be heard in the sell-out venue is Camille’s impassioned vocals, delivered with a cutting clarity which slices through the song’s beautiful bitterness.
She is backed by a talented and tight 5-piece band, equally able to belt out the big-band style tunes as they are able to drop the mood to that of smoky subtlety. Props litter the stage like a showgirl’s dressing room, and Camille plays and paws with them, much to the audience’s delight. Her line in between-song banter is as strong as ever, though – unlike some previous years – audience interaction and participation is kept to a minimum.
As she dances around the stage, beckoning the music from her bandmates like some seductive siren lost in her own music, she proves once again she has no equal when it comes to delivering emotionally-powerful torchsongs and cabaret entertainment of the highest calibre.
Camille O’Sullivan is the voice of the Fringe: and it is a voice you should make every effort to hear for yourself.
Review by Keith D