With the star of Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker, currently performing in London at the Savoy, it was the turn of the real-life Carrie Bradshaw to take to the stage of the London Palladium tonight. Candace Bushnell : True Tales of Sex, Success and Sex and the City stopped off in London for one night as part of a more extensive tour.
As a model and aspiring writer in New York, Bushnell started writing a column for the New York Observer. It was here she introduced the world to her own alter-ego (Carrie Bradshaw) and began sharing the sexploits of herself and her girlfriends. The column was titled Sex and the City, and went on to be published as a book, and later (as you probably know) became a smash hit HBO television series.
This one woman show sees Bushnell take to the stage to tell her own story, from her early days partying at Studio 54, to becoming a New York Times best selling author. The posters on the outside of the theatre describe it as ‘the ultimate girls night out’ and though I’m not in the best position to judge if that’s true, the show is perhaps a little too sedate to live up to that claim.
Sprinkled with fun elements; including some audience interaction for a game of real or not real, and some useful lessons in love, this is an autobiography told on stage. It’s wonderfully written, demonstrating the skills that brought Bushnell so much success. One minute she’s dropping gossip tastier than the first Cosmo of the night, next she’s tossing scrunchies into the audience with gay abandon.
It’s an incredibly interesting story, Candace Bushnell : True Tales of Sex, Success and Sex and the City succeeds in demonstrating just how hard Bushnell had to graft to achieve success, and as such feels truly inspirational. But it does also try a little too hard to shoe in some messages of positivity and the lack of subtlety becomes obvious.
Bushnell probably hasn’t had that much experience of performing in a theatre, but she appears as comfortable on stage as she does in a pair of Manolo’s and the audience easily warms to her easy going style.
Audiences expecting to have a few drinks and party like Samantha might be disappointed, True Tales of Sex, Success and Sex and the City is fun in the most part, but the true success is in its storytelling technique.