After its premiere in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has made creators Sarah-Louise Young and Russell Lucas wait two years to bring their whimsical An Evening Without Kate Bush back to the Edinburgh Fringe. And with a widespread revival in Kate Bush fever, what great timing!
A mixed audience of Kate Bush fans old and new, with a few (initial) non-fans mixed in, gathered in the Piccolo tent at Assembly George Square Gardens for an intoxicating celebration of Bush.
The show is not a one-hour impersonation of Kate Bush, nor is it a solid crash course on her life. As Young points out, this is a show about the community that she has inspired. Rather than watching someone possessed by the spirit of Kate Bush, the spirit possesses the entire tent and every minute is a riot. Young eases the audience into becoming a collective as even those intimidated by audience participation welcome in her hysterical allure.
Sarah-Louise Young’s West End credits and successful cabaret career shine through her expert storytelling and comedic acting. Young does not have to do a great deal to entertain her audience, but she does anyway. While An Evening Without Kate Bush does not rely on imitating the star, Young’s voice offers a terrific impression and she glows with an eccentric radiance.
Behind-the-scenes elements of the show such as costume changes and the training process are ridiculously transparent, and despite the chaos, at no point does the show feel messy. How Young manages to deliver such an impassioned, euphoric performance while also performing her new show The Silent Treatment at this year’s Fringe is mind-blowing.
No review will prepare you for this show, which is why it is so special. Most shows devoted to a particular artist advertise that you do not need to be a fan to enjoy the performance; however, An Evening Without Kate Bush might be one of the best examples where this holds true.