The Heart of It – Lisa Pulman at the Riverside Studios to 30 April. ****. William Russell

Canaries sometimes sing and when it comes to singing Lisa Pulman delivers a terrific performance in her new show The Heart of It. She is backed by a first rate 6 piece band and the songs range from Irving Berlin to Randy Newman and Michel Legrand by way of Fats Waller and a stunning rendition of If I Only Had a Brain like you will never have heard it before and a heart rending one of Some Other Time. One third of Fascinating Aida she is, as she says “a live performing beast.” She is also a canary who can talk to her audience and keep them enthralled, even at one point announcing that she really should see who she is singing to – up go the lights. She gives a cry of horror and down they go. At the end she welcomes the return to live performances with Happy Days Are Here Again and quotes the advice given by her mother when she was in her Shirley Temple days – “You must know when to get off” – cracks a couple of Boris Johnson jokes and leaves. It was two hours of someone at the top of their game. And since Barbra Streisand was having her 80th birthday we got The Way We Were.
After the Riverside where she was promoting her album The Heart of It she can be seen at Cadogan Hall on 25 May and at Wilton’s Music Hall on 4 and 5 June.
Musical Director: Joseph Atkins
Production Photograph: Don White

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