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Death Row Diva - The Final Account Of Crimson Skye (Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Venue: The Lowry
Where: Salford

Crimson Skye is a beautiful, sassy, curvaceous flame-haired Texan; wearing a straightjacket, on death row. This is her last day on earth.

Opening with a spoof dating agency advert, the wickedly funny cellmates.com sets the tone for a dark-humoured evening of entertainment. And then Crimson makes her dramatic entrance. Think Hannibal Lecter, only Crimson’s singing Patsy Cline’s "Crazy" through her mask, what an entrance!

Mixing burlesque and cabaret the show is an original and inventive character-led stand-up performance; it’s much more than I had expected. Crimson tells us about her childhood. Her happy trailer park childhood with her mother and a succession of daddies who all met very similar fates, ahem… She talks through a succession of exes, (complete with slideshow) along with the, let’s say ‘break-ups’, all interspersed with entertaining country and western numbers.

Small details provide some very big laughs, such as her ‘warden’ Gladys, and some localised gags about pronunciation and some topical references to recent Manchester riots. The audience rapport is built up quite quickly and we all react to Crimson’s bad luck with an “ahhh”; appreciative wolf whistles are also positively encouraged.

The moments of audience participation work very well, including a shock wedding snap appearance for one couple. Even more banter would have been welcomed by most of the audience, who were clearly ready for a fun experience, not just to sit and watch. Crimson’s a people person (just not boyfriends) and could charm the birds from the trees if only she had a bit more time on earth…

- Laura Maley


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