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They’ve said goodbye several times since they were formed in 1983, but Fascinating Aida are back in London and packing in the punters.

This is thanks not only to the loyal following they’ve built up over the decades but also to their current YouTube sensation which gives the show its name.

With around 8 million hits to date, they’re on to a winner and along with the fans who’ve grown grey over the years, they’re also attracting an appreciative younger audience ready to relish their particular brand of satirical musical cabaret.

Founder member Dillie Keane and Adele Anderson (who joined a year later) will both be 60 next year, but there’s no sign of them mellowing or slowing down.

The considerably younger soprano Sarah-Louise Young now completes the anarchic trio and adds a new song of her own praising the benefits of one-night stands.

But Keane and Anderson remain the prime creators and nothing is sacred. From Dignitas to dogging, and from Tesco to surrogate pregnancy (thanks to an obliging orang-utan), their witty lyrics continue to amuse.

Keane still gets into uncomfortable contortions when playing the piano, and the trio go a cappella for the string of short, sharp verses which make up a mock Bulgarian song cycle.

They saved the sparkly gowns for after the interval, but this is intelligent, laugh-out-loud entertainment (with the occasional poignant touch) which is worth seeing no matter what the outfits.  

Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches
Villiers Street
WC2N 6NL
020 7907 7075  
Until January 7
£24.50-£29.50
charingcrosstheatre.co.uk

- Louise Kingsley


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Fascinating Aida
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