An Evening Without Kate Bush at Voodoo Rooms is a one-woman show and a tribute act to the titular vocalist, directed by Russel Lucas and performed by Sarah-Louise Young – an actress, director, writer and internationally renowned cabaret artist. She returns to Edinburgh Fringe after her 2009 and 2010 sold-out shows ‘Cabaret Whore’ and ‘Cabaret Whore Encore!’.
Don’t be led astray by the title – the show is obviously very much full of Kate Bush although Young announces at its beginning that it is not about the vocalist herself but rather about the audience and a collective experience. She does indeed engage with conversations with the audience to prove that the room does not compose of Bush’s crazily devoted fans only and that the show might be enjoyed by anyone. Nonetheless, at many points it is quite inclusive and catching all the references might be difficult although Young as an extraordinarily charming performer makes sure that everyone is having a good time. The interactivity of the spectacle admittedly drives its dynamics and uniqueness. However, putting the particular members of the audience on a spot to help her sing the backing vocals or dance to embody the community of fans might be considered cute but mostly, seems probably terrifying.
The major star of An Evening Without Kate Bush is Young’s beautiful, powerful, ravishing, tingly voice. She doesn’t lip-sync, she doesn’t parody Kate Bush, she actually sings like her and this vocal resemblance could be seen both as mesmerizing and creepy. Her singing , as well as dance moves of her athletic body certainly overshadow the rest of the show– dynamically changing costumes that represent different personas and avatars of Kate Bush, whole-hearted but not dazzlingly funny jokes, impersonations of some accents, including the Scottish one. Young’s hard work and effortlessness in envisioning the heroine of the show definitely deserves an applause.
In spite of the above-mentioned inclusivity, you don’t have to be Kate Bush’s fan to attend this evening without her, however you, definitely have to be a devoted fan of someone to understand the poetics of this peculiar yet very moving spectacle. Otherwise, you’re going to feel lost and confused.