Always Entertaining Though Sometimes Bizarre4 stars Rwmote Goat
Two years ago, Fiona-Jane Weston brought us 20th Century Woman, her take on female emancipation over the past one hundred years. Now she brings us Loving London, using the same cabaret format of songs, poems and writings from various artists to explain why, after years of globe-trotting, she now resides in the city.
The show is always entertaining, though at times, utterly bizarre. Cleopatra brings us a radio report from the Olympics 50 BC, (apparently held in London that year), then uses the microphone to break into her "latest hit"...... about werewolves. Later, there is a song about Anne Boleyn haunting Henry VIII with her head under her arm.
There was poignancy as Samuel Pepys's diary was read, recounting the destruction caused by the Great Fire, and then from Noel Coward remembering the morning following a particularly devastating blitz.
Able support was provided at the keyboard by Ed Bussey whose pleasing light baritone complimented Miss Weston's wide vocal range. Her movements too were accomplished and there were times when the actress even managed to make the tiny stage at the Battersea Barge appear bigger, as in Burlington Bertie where her assured dancing on the spot still conveyed the impression of moving in a larger space.
There was a chilling version of Mack the Knife, but the mood was never allowed to stay sombre as Fiona-Jane and her collaborator Tim Heath had clearly worked hard to maintain variety with the pieces they had chosen.
Having explained why London is her favourite city, Fiona-Jane encourages the audience to feel the same through the strength of the material she presents; while for those who beg to differ, there is always the option to sing along in the Strand with Burlington Bertie.