Review by David Munro
WE ARE told this is the final tour of Fascinating Aida,
that institution of well-staged cabaret that has been with us,
in various incarnations, since the early 1980's.
An irreverent trio of female clowns, it has changed its makeup
from time to time, over the years, although the one and only begetter
and principal writer of their material, Dillie Keane, remains
The trio, now touring, comprise Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson
and Marilyn Cutts, who are joined by Russell Churney ,accompanying
them on the piano, and, from time to time, joining in the revels.
They are a wickedly acerbic trio, with material that is, at the
same time, scabrous and rib-achingly funny. They are clowns in
the true sense of the word, taking episodes of life and turning
them inside out to reveal their ridiculous and sometimes malevolent
In a sense, they defy analysis, for, just when you think you
have understood them, they are off in another bizarre tangent
and prosaic criticism is blown away in yet another gale of laughter.
Although they are professional to the tips of their well-polished
fingernails, they manage to give the impression that everything
they do has just occurred to them, and their pleasure is to share
with you whatever vagary of life they have just discovered.
Most of their material is tried and true, written by Mesdames
Keane and Anderson, but somehow, however often you may have heard
them, their songs and witticisms seem as fresh today as they were
when first delivered to an unsuspecting world.
Therefore, while attending one of their performances is, in some
ways, like revisiting old friends - you know that they will still
surprise you with some twist of phrase, or mode of delivery, that
makes each performance a new event.
And so, this makes the thought that they are retiring all the
One Last Flutter is as good and funny and as full of biting
wit and humour as ever.
They do not seem tired, jaded or at the end of their tether,
quite the reverse. They as a fresh joyous and as ebullient as
they were when I first saw them in the 1980s.
Age does not wither, in their case it adds new lustre, and it
is sad to think that future generations will only know them from
their recordings which, delightful as they are, in no way capture
the full impact of their stage personas.
I hope that like Sinatra, Melba and many another well known retiree,
that their retirement is a mere facon de parler, and I shall never,
to misquote from one of their classic numbers, be "Asking
Dilly Keane 'Fascinating who?' - It's Taboo!
Fascinating Aida - A Last Flutter; Music & Lyrics by Dillie
Keane and Adele Anderson; Directed by Christopher Luscombe; Designed
by Simon Higlett; Choreography by Geoff Garratt; Lighting byDouglas
Kuhrt; Sound by Graham Naylor.
W ITH Dilly Keane; Adele Anderson; Marilyn Cutts. Produced by
Edward Snape for Fiery Angel. At Richmond Theatre, The Little
Green , Richmond, Surrey. Tickets 020 8940 0088