Fascinating Aida (Queen Elizabeth Hall)

Adele, Dillie and Liza - Fascinating Aida
Adele, Dille and Liza – Fascinating Aida

It’s been a few years since I last caught a concert by Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulman (aka Fascinating Aida) and so a packed house at the Queen Elizabeth Hall seemed just the ticket for a rainy and miserable late afternoon a few days before Christmas.

Formed in 1983 so now celebrating 37 years in the business (Anderson joined in 1984, Pulman in 2004), this trio of ladies remain a powerful force for filthy fun, pertinent politics, and heartbreaking homilies. Joined now by pianist Michael Roulston, who also joins in the fun, they basically continue to deliver a “charm offensive”, to quote one of their DVD titles.

With a carefully crafted set which mixes old classics (Lieder, Dogging, Try Not To Be a Cu*t, It’s Christmas, Cheap Flights) with pieces of social commentary (Socialist Britain, Lerwick Town, Health and Safety) and more personal pieces like Little Girls in Pink, Goodbye Old Friends and Prisoner of Gender, there is something for every audience member, as long as they are not of a “sensitive disposition”.

The ethos of Fascinating Aida is not just to make you laugh (and they do) but also to make you think. Keane and Anderson have worked together so long they make a formidable core to the act, and Pulman’s light soprano and easy manner means she slots in extremely well. I can see why she has returned to the trio more than once.

Go to be entertained and perhaps, just a little bit unsettled. Everyone needs “a load of old sequins” (to quote the title of their 1994 CD) at wintertime, and these three performers “of a certain age” definitely continue to deliver.

They continue at the Southbank Centre until 5 January (no shows 24-26 December, 31 December or 1 January), then tour to Watford and through the UK. Tour schedule at http://www.fascinatingaida.co.uk/tour_dates.

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