CABARET FRINGE REVIEW: FRANKLY WINEHOUSE, LA BOHEME

Amy Winehouse’s legacy lives on in Ashleigh Kreveld’s brilliantly constructed Frankly Winehouse. Winehouse’s story is one of a troubled yet supremely talented jazz singer who sadly became a member of the 27 Club like fellow music greats Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

Tucked into the cosy speakeasy vibe of La Boheme, a full house was treated to a faithfully witty, sassy and at times poignant narrative of Winehouse’s life, interspersed with many of her well known songs from her two albums Back to Black and Frank as well as a few covers.

Accompanied by pianist Katia Labozzetta, and with a simple set consisting of a stool, Kreveld absolutely nails the vocal delivery (musically as well as her North London accent). She rocks Winehouse’s signature beehive, heavy eyeliner, leopard print dress and fuck-me pumps. She is a true embodiment of the soul singer. It’s no mean feat to pull off those notes with the cadence and nuance that is so specifically Winehouse. There’s no wonder the show was a sell-out at Adelaide Fringe and has sold out all Cabaret Fringe show – including an additional Saturday performance over the weekend.

Through Krevel we see Winehouse from different perspectives. There were stories of her childhood, anecdotes on her unwanted rise to fame and the media’s obsession with her downward spiral into drug-use and alcoholism, as well as some mistruths dispelled about her that brought some humanity to the show. You also get to see the fun-loving, at times crude and hedonistic side to Winehouse as she told the story of her most popular hit “Rehab” and sasses the audience with cheeky banter.

To cap the stellar performance off was a cover of The Shirelle’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (also popularly covered by Winehouse) and an encore of her hit with Mark Ronson, “Valerie” to which the crowd sang along and clapped their hands.

I hope this show returns for Adelaide Fringe in 2018 so more people are able to experience this fabulous and thoroughly enjoyable cabaret show. Kreveld is surely one to watch!

Five stars *****

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