You'd be forgiven for thinking that this would be one of those cabaret tribute shows. A sexy singer belting out old-time tunes. What a mistake to make. Melissa Western sure can belt them out but in the most delightfully surprising way! Instead of a flat vocal parade, what we're treated to here is nothing short of a modern day fairytale. 'Abigail' is the little girl we've all been, singing into her hairbrush in front of her bedroom mirror. But she has one huge problem. Stage fright. Not a good sign for a wannabe star. Her wishes are answered when she discovers the 'Genie of the Hairbrush' who grants her the use of three 'Divas' to make her dreams come true.This one woman show is moved along by a quirky, original script, performed by Melissa Western interacting with the Genie's vocal backing track seamlessly. Her reactions are comical and sincere and she is intensely funny in her delivery of the more comic lines. Then there's her singing. She has a beautifully rich voice that carries astoundingly without a microphone and enchants from the first note. Not only this but she remarkably takes on three of the most famous women known to the stage. Western is truly convincing in her imitations of Ella Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich and Marylin Monroe. Every little trait is down to an absolute tee. She is assisted by costume, but only slightly and her voice and manner changes impeccably from Diva to Diva. Western IS Fitzgerald, IS Dietrich, IS Monroe. She goes from awkward and ordinary, to sultry and sexy as quick and easily as flicking a light switch. It's a joy to watch.The music itself is fantastic, old world jazz, from the three iconic beauties, sang stunningly and fantastically in character by Western and sensitively preceded by eerie sound bites of the women themselves; lest we forget. The voices seem to reach from beyond the grave, absolutely bringing forth the feeling that they are in the room with us, performing once again for their adoring audience. I wish it had been a little longer; clocking in at only 45 minutes, I wanted more but the happy ending and soaring voice of Miss Western had me leaving on my own personal little Cloud 9, humming all the tunes I'd just heard.This is a show worth seeing multiple times if possible. It's upbeat, funny and devastatingly elegant. With an almost sold out crowd on her first day and giving a monumental performance, Melissa Western is sure to be the hot ticket of the Fringe, so book now while you can! She's a powerhouse giving the greats a run for their money and yet still remaining utterly humble and respectful of her influences. A one (or should that be three?) woman wonder!

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

A reclusive bedroom mirror singer, desperate for stardom! Enter fairy godmothers Ella Fitzgerald, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlene Dietrich. A wild cabaret fairy tale unfolds. Funny, glamorous, Fringe sell-out 2007-2008. **** (Scotsman). ***** (ThreeWeeks). www.melissawestern.com

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