Review of 'Songs for Nobodies'

Bernadette Robinson

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An amazing one lady show staring Bernadette Robinson showcasing some of the greatest woman singers of all time.

The simple staging of a sitting room with a few basic props (a drinks cabinet, fully stocked, chairs and a dresser) has Robinson telling five separate stories of “nobodies” whose lives intertwine with these amazing singers: A lady fixing the hem of Judy Garland's dress, a woman telling the story of how her father was saved by Edith Piaf from a concentration camp in World War 2, a woman asked to sing for Patsy Cline in her dressing room then astonished to be invited to be a backing singer on stage, a lady having a difficult time interviewing Billie Holiday and finally a posh lady talking about her husband's fascination with Maria Callas. In each vignette Robinson is absorbed into the character she portrays – utterly convincing mannerisms and accents – then when she bursts into singing some of the iconic pieces by the great woman she is utterly captivating. An absolutely stunning performance that thoroughly convinces. Shut your eyes and the great woman could be singing right there in front of you. Wow.

As part of her performance she did light some herbal cigarettes which she barely puffed on before they filled the auditorium with their smell and smoke which is quite unusual to see on the stage nowadays. They really helped to evoke the characters she portrayed along with the different choices of drink each character preferred (tea here, brandy there, etc). Never did it seem like it was over the top or forced, it was all effortless.

At 90 minutes without an interval, the time absolutely flew by as the audience sat in stunned silence punctuated only by rapturous, and frequent, applause. An incredible tour-de-force that I was absolutely privileged to witness.

Rating:

Review Date: 2019-02-13



Ambassadors Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: West Street, London WC2H 9ND ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Leicester Square

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7395 5405

URL: https://www.theambassadorstheatre.co.uk/

The Ambassadors is a small theatre across from The Ivy and just next door to “St. Martin's Theatre” (home to “The Mousetrap”) on West Street, a small distance from Leicester Square. The foyer is tiny with stairs leading down to the stalls or up to the circle. There are bars on each level and acoustics are acceptable.