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Pistol & Jack’s Sunday Service

Thursday, 26 August, 2010

London – Soho Theatre Bar – 22 Aug 10 – 19:30 (2:30)

The usually spacious, yet anonymous, Soho Theatre Bar was dressed to the nines Sunday evening, ready to host a raucous evening of cabaret, burlesque, comedy and general silliness.  Blue sparkles hung from the walls, as the various coloured lights danced off every surface.  Intrigued members of the public pressed their faces against the glass to catch a glimpse of the action.

Slightly past the starting time, the hosts presented themselves on stage.  Pistol, a sassy American, looked as if she lept from reels of a 1960s film, with carefully coiffed hair and a fabulously fringed frock.  She joked with at audience with ease, playing her role of lost pop princess adeptly.  Jack, a rough and tumble sexed-up rocker in blue shimmering trousers and a Bowie-esque lightening-streaked face, balanced Pistol’s energy well, providing a Cockney everyman to her diva.  Together, Pistol & Jack wove the audience through the evening interspersing the guest acts with songs and banter.  Some banter fell flat from repetition and began to feel more like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf than a comedy act.  Pistol & Jack’s musical mashups, however, revealed sublime talent, humour and intelligence.  Effortlessly meandering through Alicia Keyes, David Bowie, Journey and Beyoncé (at the same time, no less!) Jack’s soulful rock voice and decent guitar skills matched well with Pistol’s brassily gorgeous belting, and surprisingly badass rapping.  They were delightful chaperones for the evening.

Instructed by Pistol & Jack to expand our age horizons with regards to burlesque,  The Slap and Tickle Girls were the first guest act to perform.   The first two thirds of the act blended comedy and burlesque well, as Ellie Amour, Miss Kitty Kat and Miss Delish masqueraded as old ladies grooving to tunes old and new.  When the grey hair and frumpy house dresses came off, however, the act lost its enthusiasm and became a bland group of scantily clad dancers.  Sadly, their second appearance followed the same pattern.

The evening bounced back with a vengeance with the appearance of Spam and Beans, quizmasters extraordinaire.  Their banter and chemistry sparkled as much as their costumes as the pair goaded the audience into participating in a highly bizarre quiz which featured questions like, ‘Is Alan Titmarsch a troll?’  The highlight by far was the ‘Sexy Face’ competition, where members of the audience used tape to malign their faces into bizarre shapes, then parading them for a beauty competition.

At the end, the Ouse Valley Singles Club graced the stage, offering a marvellous finale to the evening.  With Andrew Barron on ukulele and Sarah Turner on tea chest bass, the Club entertained with a number of humorous songs in a quirky updated skiffle style, including ‘’Jude Law’s Wingman” and “My Redundant Ovaries.”  So many comedy songs depend heavily upon the lyrics with little attention to the music, yet the musical talent of the duo shone through as the melodic brilliance of the songs matched the lyrical.

Cast Credits:  Beaux – DJs, Pistol & Jack – as themselves (hosts), Spam and Beans – as themselves, The Ouse Valley Singles Club (Andrew Barron and Sarah Turner), The Slap and Tickle Girls (Elle Amour, Miss Kitty Kat and Miss Delish).

Company Credits: Production – Kevin Millband, Sound – Colin Goodwin, Bar Staff – Emmalene, Paolo and Kimberley

(c) Molly Doyle 2010

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