After three Olivier Award nominations, several international tours, over 27 million YouTube hits and thirty-eight years of performing, the glamorously shameless cabaret trio Fascinating Aïda return to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time since 2016.
Dillie Keane, Adèle Anderson and Liza Pulman are joined by musical director and piano accompanist Michael Roulston to perform dazzling songs that blast their topical exasperations. Directed by Paul Foster, the show is performing at Assembly George Square’s Gordon Aikman Theatre until 27th August.
The lyrics of the show are gold, and the ingenious rhymes are guaranteed to catch any audience off-guard. The performance is inclusive in the sense that nothing is sacred, and the relatable content is both remorselessly flagrant and surprisingly activist. Addressing political, social and ecological concerns, the three women express their despair with wit and command.
Each of the three women provide a different energy, creating a harmonious palette that allows them to cover a broad range of topics. The characters are well-communicated through their emotive facial expressions, and the cutting lyrics are delivered with a diction and sound quality that does not allow the audience to miss a punchline. Clever segues between songs further pronounce the characters within the trio while providing the show with a steady flow.
Having founded Fascinating Aïda in 1983, natural comedian Dillie Keane lovingly made the audience feel most unwelcome with her bitter remarks, which only made them love her more. Adèle Anderson, who joined the group in 1984, presented herself with poise, dignity, and discontent, and her empowering number ‘Adèle’s Story’ deservingly received the largest applause of the show. A member of the group since 2004, Liza Pulman contributed a more effervescent and civil energy, as well as her remarkable opera vocals.
Fabulous pianist Michael Roulston was not merely decorative, and his incorporation into the show’s comedy was highly entertaining. Victoria Hinde’s choreography and Mike Robertson’s lighting punctuated and enhanced the comedy of the show without causing superfluous distraction.
In these difficult times, Fascinating Aïda’s satirical observations cover a good deal of all that is irritating in 2022 – which is a lot. If you do not mind being included within their wrath, you should definitely see this profoundly miserable and perfectly delightful show.