Review, Theatre

Christina Bianco at the Sherman Theatre

What do you do when you’re having a bad day? By 4 o’clock yesterday Mr J and I were taking a walk along the coast. He had got that fed up of me. Working from home for more than 24 hours doesn’t suit me, or him. In the back of my mind I knew I’d be on the ten past six train out of here. The Fairy Godmother had persuaded us all to see Christina Bianco at the Sherman Theatre. Having no clue of the basis of the recommendation I feared my good mood would not be improved.

There’s nothing worse than someone selling you humour. And it felt like I wasn’t playing fair by arriving with the disadvantage of being in a bad mood.

Sea air is my therapy, it creates a balance for my soul. But it doesn’t necessarily take it above neutral. It just ensures I’m not in a bad mood. I am always grateful to my husband for escorting me out of our house. But the stakes were still high.

Arriving at the Sherman Theatre couldn’t fail to create a wry smile. I’ve seen so much children’s theatre, I have loved seeing Cerys Matthews, plays directed by Rachel O’Riordan, I thought I had seen everything. But no.

As I walked from the station it was obvious there was an atmosphere to the evening. So many selfies. The queue for the bar. Fashion.

I wondered what I had let myself into. It would be true that whilst a quick YouTube search that morning had set an expectation, I hadn’t appreciated everyone else appreciating this YouTube sensation.

I’m waffling.

Christina Bianco is in the UK with ‘You, Me and Everyone Else’. A favourite at the Edinburgh Fringe, with a huge YouTube following, there is an expectation that is completely underestimated.
I listened to someone during the interval summarising how technically amazing the performances were.
I don’t do technical, but I completely believed it. I knew the range, and the tones (is that even the right word?) were completely awesome.

Whilst this may be about impersonation, whilst a key part of the performance is about an A to Zee of divas, it is everything and more which encompasses the impersonation. I loved how much the physical characteristics accompanied the vocal performance.
I loved how much the performance accompanied the audience response.

The audience love Christina Bianco. And wouldn’t you?Christina BiancoChristina Bianco manages to cover the span, of everything. Bjork, Aguilera, Shakira. Garland, Streisand, Bassey, and of course Celine Dion- dare I mention Celine Dion? And Billie Holiday. Just brilliant.

And whilst singing could have been enough. Why stop there? Friends, Sex and the City, Will and Grace… Downton Abbey (?)… but especially Absolutely Fabulous.

There is every reason why this would be amazingly well received. And every reason given this ambition why it would fall on its face.
But it didn’t.
It was almost a fear of last man sitting as the performance came to a close.
There was every justification for the standing ovation.
What can you say.

I was lucky enough to sit next to Gareth.
Gareth couldn’t be more enthused as the band took to the stage.
I reassured myself that even if the performance wasn’t that great, Gareth’s enthusiasm would keep things moving.
Gareth was completely right.
And rewarded by being welcomed to the stage, and winning the competition.
Even then Christina Bianco was amazing, handling an enthused audience with absolute humour.

Did I mention the band? Oh wow.

Whilst I was instantly in love with Marc McBride, it was the rest of the band that drew my interest. It was like watching the naughty boys in the classroom- completely amazing humour. Nick Pinchbeack and Hugh Richardson on guitar and bass guitar respectively as what I imagine B and E to be like in class. 

Everything just seemed just right.

It wasn’t just impersonation. There was so much in the performance which this particular talent a side story. This was the story, of how a 4ft9″ woman made it big. About an only child finding a way to use a parent’s love of music and film.

The voice is amazing.

And the humour just keeps the tears of laughter rolling.

So, I’m not sure if Christina Bianco will be back at the Sherman Theatre. If I had a reception like I would be. But I am lead to understand she frequents the Edinburgh Fringe, with a little bit of a tour. So, 2017, if not sooner, if you get the chance- believe what the Fairy Godmother recommends. She does tend to always get it right. 

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