Frances Ruffelle: Beneath the Dress
17 August 2010 WOS Rating: Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu 12-30 August, 20.15 Frances Ruffelle is rocking at the Ghillie Dhu, but I’m not sure about her material; the song material, that is, not her costume, which is as scruffily chic and silky as befits such a “bad girl” theatre gypsy.
She mixes old music hall - “Hold your hand out, you naughty boy” - with Brecht and Kurt Weill (directions to the next whisky bar are not something she needs) and a good dollop of bluesy jazz and bar room ballads.
I love her husky, openly seductive voice, but as a cabaret turn she is in constant search of a dramatic role; and Frances the musical theatre actress is something we’ve seen too little of lately.
Still, she gives great value in her hour-long set, and she has a good band, too, though the pianist seems to have forgotten to change out of his pyjamas. At the Ghillie Dhu, you could see Straker, then have a decent dinner, and then see Frances: not a bad festival outing.
- by Michael Coveney Related Content
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