This year, circus and cabaret shows seem to be dominating the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With so many new kids on the block, you could be forgiven for thinking Miss Hope Springs is making her debut – but you would be wrong.
Seemingly answering the question, “what ever happened to Breathless Mahoney?”, Ty Jeffries’ alter ego is back in Scotland’s capital and as unapologetic as ever. A tight hour of classic cabaret, with lines that are witty interspersing tragicomic ditties, Miss Springs’ pared-down show is just her, a keyboard and a LOT of sequins and feathers.
Hope Springs is a self-confessed “recovering showgirl” who has fallen on hard times, sharing tales of her disastrous relationships and worldly travels. From the Ritz to the pits and everywhere in between, she always has a song to share and this show is no exception. Ty Jeffries’ catchy tunes and humorous lyrics are performed with an old Hollywood style and a vibrato so wide you could drive a bus through it. Each facial expression and stylised affectation shows a consummate professional at work, one who is not thrown by well-meaning hecklers or some issues with sound balance.
Although a supremely talented pianist and songwriter, Hope Springs is at her very best when she emerges from behind the keyboard and gets in amongst her audience, so the lack of a band to support her was a bit of a pity (though the audience attempted some finger clicking with varying degrees of success). Her ad-libs and banter with the crowd were some of the funniest moments, and left you wanting more. The show is largely about the music however, and there are plenty of wonderful songs such as Girl in a Million and A Seedy Little Nightclub in Pigale to enjoy. If those went down well, however, The Devil Made Me Do It brought the house down, especially for some long-time fans who were absolutely whooping with glee.
A fun, entertaining hour for those who like some style and substance with their drag, let Miss Hope Springs bring some glitz and glamour into your life.
Photo by Max Ellis Photography
It’s Miss Hope Springs plays at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh until 24th August.
By Deborah Klayman