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Normally I hate it when comedians or actors start to sing. It’s the moment when I reach for the remote control at home, or when at the theatre begin casting my eye around my fellow audience. I know you can sing, but can’t you just stick to the acting or the jokes. So, when Sarah Tattersall lifts the microphone in her one-person play Sally’s Alright, my heart sank a little. What followed, while hardly Liza Minnelli in Cabaret, was impressive.

Sally is described as a “washed-up twenty-something”, a modern day personality who is seen attending weddings, dinners and parties as the companion for minor celebrities in Brighton. As the play starts she is a cleaner in a comedy club; her 15 minutes of near fame has run out.

Tattersall’s performance provides a zest and vitality to a familiar tale of our obsession with celebrity status and the rise and fall of a young woman. Her movement around the stage is full of confidence and her blossoming from timid gosling to proud swan is convincing. Throughout there are sufficient comic moments to keep the audience entertained, with her rendition of a railway station announcer suffering from depression the stand-out moment.

At times her comic timing was slightly askew and the last third of the play where she deals with the rather serous issue of post-natal depression feels a bit like an add-on to what is otherwise a well-crafted tale, but this really feels like nit-picking. In all this is a well-polished and imaginative performance by a promising comic actor.

As for the singing, all I can say is her innovative Cabaret performance left a smile on the face of this reviewer, which is quite a remarkable feat.

Sally’s Alright, is playing at the Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, until 21 August, (cost £6) as part of The Camden Fringe. For more details, visit: www.etceteratheatre.com

 


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Theatre Review Sally’s Alright
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