Sunday, 28 October 2012

Death Row Diva, Lowry Studio 26/10/12

The Lowry categorised Death Row Diva : The Final Account of Crimson Skye as Burlesque, something I haven’t experienced before, and actually something that I still am not sure I really have, as this show seemed to be much more than a pure Burlesque show.
Crimson Skye is the creation of Heather Malone, she is a glamorous ‘bur-les-cue’ performer from the southern states. We meet Crimson in her cell on death row and she tells us the story of her life, her loves and her obsessions that has ultimately lead her to face her final reckoning.

Unapologetic, endearing, and very funny, it is impossible to dislike Crimson, even as her increasingly gruesome tale unfolds. This was just a good old Southern gal who didn’t have the best start in life, trying to make good, it’s just a pity all those obstacles kept getting in her way! She has a lot of love to give, some of which she would love to share with the audience given half a chance, a nice line in Patsy Cline songs delivered in her own inimitable style, an a guest appearance by Ed the Severed Head, her one true love.

Crimson did a fantastic job engaging with the small and slightly reserved Lowry audience from the outset, and coped excellently with the slight technical hitches that cropped up, incorporating them into the performance rather than letting them put her off her stride. There were a couple of points where I felt the pace dropped ever so slightly and maybe could benefit from a little editing, but the pluses far outweighed the negatives. 

The elements of Burlesque were playful and excellently delivered, but, as I mentioned they were really just a small part of a gruesomely amusing, unique and well written one woman performance. There were some clever surprises built in to the show, and funny references to recent events. Crimson / Heather was brilliant, she created such an endearingly wicked character that it was impossible to dislike despite her actions. It must be quite a feat to deliver an eighty minute solo show, but she held the audience in the palm of her hand from start to finish. Wickedly enjoyable.

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