What could be nicer than sitting at a table with a glass of wine and a bowl of nuts, and being entertained in the most delightful way by peerless performers? One of them is actually called Peerless. With great virtuosity Sally Peerless plays saxophone, flute and clarinet, while musical director Edward Court provides superb piano accompaniment to songs from the great Broadway and Hollywood musicals of yesteryear, made famous by female artistes. These are sung by the brother-and-sister team of Ceri Dupree and Ria Jones, with the delicious twist that Ceri is in drag.
What a combination! The songstress Ria has a wonderful range of great expressiveness, but also of great power. The drag queen Ceri sports outrageous costumes topped by enormous wigs, and with a line of patter, peppered with sly innuendo, truly worthy of Danny La Rue – whose persona is one of many that she adopts during the show. Ceri does wonderful takes on grandes dames such as Bette Davis, Eartha Kitt and Marlene Dietrich, while Ria pays wonderful musical tributes to the likes of Barbara Streisand, Julie Andrews and Edith Piaf (who crept in despite not being a Hollywood star).
Don’t take my word for it. The audience were roaring with laughter, and more than once got to their feet to show their appreciation. The rapport between audience and performers was great, and the end of the show was greeted with a tumultuous standing ovation. It is certainly one of the best cabaret shows that I have seen, and if you are in London during the month of August, I urge you to see it too.
- Director and Co-Writer : Sarah-Louise Young
- Musicians : Edward Court and Sally Peerless
- Starring : Ceri Dupree and Ria Jones
- St James Theatre, London
- Until 30 August 2015
- Review by Richard McKee
- 8 August 2015