Elsie Diamond: The Sensible Dresser, Edinburgh Review

Cabaret is such an all-encompassing term, but in Elsie Diamond's one-woman show, it fits the bill perfectly. Dressers are often the unsung heroes of theatre and television, but in Diamond's case it really is her 'day job', and it is her in-depth knowledge of this arena that has inspired The Sensible Dresser.

The one thing I want to say from the off is this show has everything: plenty of laughter when Diamond's compèring, songs from different time periods, burlesque routines and glamorous costumes. This being the case, there was something for all tastes and from what I saw of the audience, there was an eclectic mix of women and men enjoying The Sensible Dresser.

For the show, Diamond plays a dresser at an opera house, somewhere that has enough drama behind the scenes to rival what's on stage! As she talks about the different characters that make up the operatic troupe, the show expands organically with anecdotes, songs and other details. Tales about the Diva an the 'Odd Actor' provide plenty of laughs, but Diamond's anecdote about the life-long lovers is unexpectedly poignant amd moving.

Audience interaction plays a big part of the show and whether it is the sewing song with one lucky audience member(!) or the priceless 'faux' stare when she is 'annoyed', the audience are loving it. By the time the musical numbers segue way into the burlesque routines, the show has all the energy and razzamatazz of a big West End production.

What amazes me is how I have never come across Elsie Diamond's shows before Edinburgh. Still, better late than never! A great example of what PBH's Free Fringe has to offer.

© Michael Davis 2016

Elsie Diamond: The Sensible Dresser was performed in Edinburgh at CC Blooms on 6th-28th August 2016.


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