FRINGE REVIEW: SINSATIONALRITA AND MAE, GLUTTONYMASONIC LODGE, 2019

Melody and Lucinda Beck are a very talented duo, who bring Rita Hayworth and Mae West to life in Sinsational, an entertaining cabaret performed at the wonderful Masonic Lodge Gluttony space.

Through song, some spoken word and audience interaction we get to know Rita and Mae over the course of the hour. Melody and Lucinda have excellent voices that genuinely recreate the era of these Hollywood stars.

The structure of the show allows us to contrast the two personas: the sexually confident West (both on and off the screen) and Hayworth, who portrayed one thing on screen but wanted a very different life away from it. Each performer effectively inhabits the character in movement and voice, making for a satisfying show.

The songs are excellent – the duo work both individually and together, while backed simply and effectively by an accompanist on keys.

It’s a slick performance that moves along well and manages to change gear between funny, sexy and pensive, creating a well-rounded experience.

The old-world feel of the Masonic Lodge, with its wood panelled walls, also assists in delivering some of the show’s magic.

However, the title and the 10:40pm time-slot give the mistaken impression of a late night burlesque performance, possibly cutting out much of the piece’s target audience. An early evening meeting would seem more appropriate for this celebration of Hollywood in the first half of the twentieth century.

The show certainly works, though, whether or not you know much about the lives of these two stars, and deserves to be seen.

Sinsational – Rita and Mae is a delightful hour of cabaret and music that immerses its audience into a by-gone era while managing to demonstrate contemporary relevance. Performing until Saturday March 2 at Gluttony – Masonic Lodge, tickets are available HERE.

4 stars

Reviewed by Matthew Trainor

 

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