• Musical
  • Book, Music, Lyrics, & Director: Emily Cairns
  • Cast: Emily Cairns, Anne O’Riordan, Tamara Saffir
  • The Canal Café Theatre, London
  • 15 july 2016
  • Review by Richard Voyce
Triple Entendre – Love, Life, and Other Stuff
4.0Reviewer's Rating

There’s talent by the bucket-load from this rather twisted triumvirate of triple-threat young women who pop out onto the stage at The Canal Café Theatre with the voices of angels and the vocabulary of Liverpool dockers. Subtle it ain’t, and there may well be a market for that. I’m possibly a little too old, and as I’m having a ‘Dry-July’ was stone cold sober, but I found that ultimately that market didn’t include me to any great extent.

As they say somewhere near the beginning, this is a show which is never going to pass the Bechdel test – a work of fiction which features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man – as the content of almost every song is men or sex. Narrowing it down, the content, with the notable exception of a couple of songs, is ‘aren’t men bastards’ in one form or another. After a while it all gets a bit, well, boring. It’s an hour which felt longer.

Still, credit where it’s due. The three (fairly recently out of drama-school) young performers attack the material with gusto. Material which, without a credited song list I am going to assume, as she’s credited in the programme as ‘writer and director’, was all the work of Emily Cairns. If that is indeed the case then…well, wow! She has a real ‘voice’. A little rough around the edges, possibly, and certainly in need of subjects she can get her composing chops into, to broaden the subjects of her repertoire, but definitely one to watch.

The other two members of Triple Entendre are the diminutive Irish songstress Anne O’Riordan, and London-based Tamara Saffir.

The ‘act’ is essentially three microphones and a backing track, and after a while I found my mind wandering and myself wondering how much more I would actually have loved to see more light and shade. Apart from the occasional poem – the best of which, from O’Riordan, was probably the funniest and seemed to consist almost completely of variations on the ‘F’ word which I sadly can’t repeat here – this is a concert on un-contextualised musical numbers and, as such does rather lack for human contact.

I would suggest that if Cairns can play the piano, they should have a piano on stage for her to play, and that she use some of her undoubted creative talent to fashion something approaching a ‘book’ to give the hour shape, and to flesh out the characters of the singers, and give us some stories or anecdotes against which the songs can be played.


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