Skip to main content

Jackie The Musical

King's Theatre, Edinburgh
Four stars

There aren't many magazines that could be transformed into a jukebox musical. But then, few publications have the lingering iconic status of Jackie, the teenage girl bible born in Dundee, and which changed lives along with hair-styles, hem-lines, hearts and minds. A couple of decades after Cathy and Claire advised their last and the magazine's not quite glossy pages finally folded, Jackie appears to have come of age. Or at least their readers have if the pink fizz sipping audience lapping up every moment of a show that began at the Gardyne Theatre in Dundee before being picked up like a small town hot date and given a make-over for its current tour are anything to go by.

The story focuses on Janet Dibley's fifty-something Jackie (natch), who, after being dumped by her husband of twenty years for a younger model is attempting to get back into the dating game. With her younger self escaping from her psyche to advise her and a box of old Jackie mags providing inspiration for her teenage son, what emerges from Mike James' script in Anna Linstrum's production is a cartoon-strip style part rom-com part sit-com. At times this resembles Tell Me on A Sunday rewritten for the teeny-bopper generation.

With each scene punctuated by a series of 1970s smash hits, Arlene Phillips' choreography is performed with an expressive gusto by a bright-eyed retro-clad ensemble who never take themselves too seriously in the literalism of shapes that probably haven't been thrown since Pan's People last shook a leg. As mid-life crisis turns to emancipation, the unadulterated glee that emanates throughout is life-affirming in every way.

The Herald, April 14th 2016

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Futureproof 2017

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow until February 4th 2018
Four stars

Now in its ninth year, Futureproof's showcase of recent graduate photographers from seven Scottish art schools and universities returns to its spiritual home at Street Level, with nineteen artists embracing photo essays, abstraction and constructed narratives. It is Karlyn Marshall's Willies, Beuys and Me that grabs you first. Tucked in a corner, this depiction of a woman impersonating iconic artist Joseph Beuys says much about gender stereotyping, and recalls Manfred Karge's play, Man to Man, in which a German woman took on her dead husband's identity.

The personal and the political converge throughout. Ben Soedera's Foreign Sands contrasts natural resources and the constructed world. Gareth and Gavin Bragdon's The Bragdon Brothers moves onto the carnivalesque streets of Edinburgh. Kieran Delaney's Moments also looks at the apparently ordinary. Matthew Buick goes further afield, as tourists…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Bdy_Prts

Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
Saturday December 2nd


It should probably come as no surprise that professional dancers are in the audience for the Edinburgh leg of this mini tour by spectral performance art/pop auteurs Bdy_Prts on the back of the release of their sublime debut album, The Invisible Hero. Beyond the music, the raison d’etre of Bdy_Prts’ dynamic duo of Jill O'Sullivan and Jenny Reeve, after all, is a flamboyantly costumed display of kinetic physical jerks and modernist shape-throwing to illustrate a set of fizzing machine-age chorales.

In this sense, the Bdy_Prts live experience is several works of art for the price of one that's a long way from the pair's formative work fronting Sparrow and the Workshop (O'Sullivan) and Strike the Colours (Reeve). Part living sculptures, part Bloomsbury Group super-heroines, part widescreen pop fabulists, O'Sullivan and Reeve paint their faces with ancient symbols and sport customised shoulder pads that look both seasonally …