CAUTIONARY TALES FOR DAUGHTERS
by Tanya Holt.
3 Stars ***
Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6ST to 11 February 2017.
Tour dates – Everyman, Cheltenham 17/18 February; Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, – 3 March; Heron Theatre, Lancashire – 18 March; Quay Theatre, Sudbury – 24 March; Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – 5 May; Edge Arts Theatre, Shropshire – 6 May; Holt Festival, Norfolk – 24 July.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm. Mat Sat 3.30pm.
Runs 1hr 55mins One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7287 2875
Review: William Russell 21 January.
What Mom told Dotty – life lessons
Tanya Holt is primarily a cabaret performer and it shows in this interesting but overstretched songs and homilies affair. She can hold an audience, but her material is wildly variable. Some of it is achingly twee, and sometimes – as in her account of giving birth to Dotty, the daughter the show was inspired by – you get more information than you really want.
It is in the second half, when she finally gets serious with a number called It’s Not OK, things take off to considerable effect and you see the seeds of what might have been. In this song and monologue she recalls what happened to her as a naïve teenager and the fact she was so ashamed she never told anyone. Why? – Because it appeared to be her fault that the abuse by a predatory male occurred.
We know it happens; here is someone it happens telling us about it. As a lesson daughters should learn it is exemplary and she delivers it with feeling.
The truth is she probably has an hour long show on her hands with no interval and a less facetious approach. It is all there – anorexia, gray hairs appearing, first dates, men, girlfriends, tattoos, Justin Beiber and coping with interfering mothers. Maybe some audience participation on the real issues she raises would help rather than postcards on which people are invited to leave advice which is then read out for laughs. As it is the tireless Holt almost outstays her welcome although it could depend on the composition of the audience. Birgitta Kenyon accompanies her at the piano and joins in the warbling from time to time.
Director: Robin Kingsland.
Videography & Screen design: Vesna Krebs.
Animators: Shane Simms, Charlotte Holt, Vincent Kilbride, Robin Kingsland.,