EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Seven Crazy Bitches

at Assembly Hall

* * * * -

Cabaret-comedy that is witty, sweet and just a bit crackers

Image of Seven Crazy Bitches

The titular “crazy bitches” of Holly Morgan’s new show are seven of her favourite singers who embody the crucial stages of female life. After a quick and cursory run-through of the seven male stages – courtesy of some Justin Bieber cut-outs and felt-tip covered flipchart paper – Morgan sets us up for the feature presentation. Transforming via deliberately dodgy wigs and super-quick costume changes, Morgan uses the stories and songs of iconic divas as modern fables and windows into her own memories and journey so far, and completely enraptures her audience along the way.

The nature of the majority of the show is frenetic and fast-paced. Morgan rattles through nuanced, intelligent jokes, impersonates each of her sirens with hilarious results, changes from one homemade costume to the next, invites embarrassing romantic memories from the audience and even bickers and banters with William Shakespeare. He is confined to a patriarchal cardboard prison in the corner, although threatens to steal her limelight at moments with his own sharply-executed gags. Morgan’s delivery is always precise, though, sometimes even so swift that the audience misses some quips, and despite the multiple wardrobe swaps the pace is fluent; a beat never missed.

Then there are the songs; this is a part-cabaret show after all. Some are kooky and hammed up (Baby One More Time, Like a Virgin), while others take us by surprise, suddenly mellowing the atmosphere and soothing us into quiet captivation (Sara, Time After Time). These moments are gorgeous and exhilarating, showing us Morgan is not only a comic, but a gifted chanteuse.

She also revels in the audience participation and proves a complete natural at off-the-cuff banter. Again, she never lets go of her grip on the momentum, undeterred by reticent crowd members, and soon has us all singing along, waving arms in the air to the music easily. Perhaps the initial promise of an exploration of female empowerment has been watered down and we don’t really gain a serious appreciation of the aforementioned stages of womanhood. However, by the end of the show it doesn’t really matter. We have been charmed.

During Seven Crazy Bitches, Morgan openly admits, perhaps jokingly, that the name of the show was, in part, a ploy to get noticed by this year’s Fringe patrons. However, the gimmick is unnecessary. Her talent, voice and wit are enough to win over the crowds on their own.

/ @matthewjkeeley


Matthew is a writer and teacher based in Glasgow. He studied English Literature and Film and TV Studies at university. He is also a cat person.

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