FRINGE REVIEW – Cabaret Whore: Her Finest Hour, Underbelly

*****
La Poule Plombée

Cabaret Whore - La Poule Plombée

This is a bittersweet production. In the course of an hour, we bid a heartfelt welcome after a two-year absence to three of Sarah-Louise Young’s comedy creations; then a tearful adieu as we learn that this is perhaps the last time we will have the chance to see them for some time, as the performer moves on to other things.

But let us not dwell on the downbeat, for there is much to love in Cabaret Whore. Fresh from her year of service as one-third of Fascinating Aida, Young has a powerful and impressive voice, covering the range from Sammy Mavis Jr’s country and westernised drawl through to the tortured vowels of everyone’s favourite ‘frumpy pigeon’ La Poule Plombée.

Her way of working a crowd is more than equal to Young’s vocal range, and she has the audience on her side from the moment she appears to welcome them in the queue outside the venue, to La Poule’s final emotional encore.

Sadly, not all of Young’s ‘six women in a suitcase’ make an appearance tonight: over-the-hill cabaret singer Bernie St Clair completes the trio of stars. Each creation is both unique and instantly recognisable: they are spot-on parodies of the musical genres they so lovingly mock.

One note of caution however: as the title may suggest, this is not a show for the children or the easily offended, as some of Young’s lyrics – hilarious as they are – can be a little close to the bone.

If however you are untroubled by such things, then a trip to the lecture hall of the Udderbelly’s Ermintrude is heartily recommended, as it may be your last chance to see this trio of troopers for some time to come.

Cabaret Whore: Her Finest Hour is at the Underbelly until 12 August. Ticket information is available on the Fringe website.

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