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Review: Fascinating Aïda’s Cheap Flights (Charing Cross Theatre, London)

Gerard Daniels reviews the latest offering from Fascinating Aïda, their new show Cheap Flights, now playing at the Charing Cross Theatre.

Rating: ****

Fascinating Aïda are stalwarts of the theatre scene, having been performing to critical acclaim since 1983. Led by Dillie Keane and accompanied by Adele Anderson and Sarah-Louise Young, this trio takes the audience on a leisurely stroll through classy but crass songs, politically poignant numbers and simply hilarious tunes, explaining why these ladies have been held with such adoration by the nation.

With simply a piano positioned centre stage and a couple of chairs, the energy, facial expressions and witty lyrics fill the theatre with ease. The girls draw on their YouTube sensations ‘Cheap Flights‘ which has amassed almost three and half million hits and sees the girls cleverly discussing why the “feck you can’t getting a fecking flight for fecking 50p” and also ‘Dogging‘, in which Keane describes her passion for doing things ‘al fresco’.

Satirically drawing on the debacles of Bush and Blair, the passing of Kim Jong Il, German cabaret and, of course, Katie Price, Fascinating Aïda’s Cheap Flights, despite being midway through a long tour, remains fresh and topical.

Keane, the founding member of the group carries a graceful and professional air about her. Her witty lyrics, facial expressions and genuine love of the job shine through, making her instantly lovable and seemingly well respected by the adoring, sold out audience.

Anderson, who joined the group in 1984, brings a great deal of height and clever cynicism to the show. Her Amazonian stature, bass voice and commitment to character add a great deal to the performance – particularly notable is her performance of the song ‘German Cabaret’.

The newest and youngest member of the group, Young, brings a great deal of energy to the show. Her soprano voice is the perfect compliment to the melodies executed by her peers. Her desire for a ‘One-Night Stand, a joke continually referred to throughout the show, made her seem well connected and instantly resulted in a rapport with the audience.

The Charing Cross Theatre, formerly the New Players Theatre is a perfectly sized venue for such a show. Nestled into the arches below the Charing Cross Station, the thud of the passing trains overhead create the right ambience for a naughty but nice theatrical treat this festive season.

Fascinating Aïda’s Cheap Flights runs at the Charing Cross Theatre until 7 January 2012. Tickets can be purchased online through the theatre’s website, or by phoning 0207 907 7075.



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