The actual Kate Bush doesn’t do many live shows, so it’s up to tribute acts to fill the void for those who want to experience her music live. Enter super fan Sarah-Louise Young, a cabaret performer who has created this joyous blend of stand up and tribute act which is currently playing downstairs at London’s Soho Theatre. While there are lots of more niche references, you absolutely don’t need to be a die-hard fan to enjoy this evening – those with even a passing knowledge of her biggest hits with find something to entertain them here.
Young is a veteran of the cabaret scene and it shows – she works the audience with a real ease which only a pro could. Her comic timing is spot on and there’s lots of good-natured audience interaction, ranging from backing singers to dancers and plenty of questions and answers. It’s a varied show – far from just singing the songs, there are a few bits about Bush’s career and some heartwarming anecdotes about the friends Young has made and the fans she’s encountered while touring this show. The staging is creative and inspired, too – dueting with a mop is a particular highlight.
All the biggest hits are present and correct, whether that’s Running Up That Hill, Hounds of Love, Babooshka or an entertaining audience singalong of Wuthering Heights. A couple of deep cuts get an airing – these are probably more for the real fans, but for those unfamiliar with them they’re well-performed and enjoyable to listen to. Young has an impressive voice and moves around the stage with a selection of moves drawn from Bush’s own stage craft – she’s created a six-part routine, with entertaining names for each move.
We enjoyed our evening without Kate Bush. You’ll probably like it even more if you’re a huge fan, but there are enjoyable moments for all in this performance – it’s a night of excellent singing, inspired staging and genuinely amusing jokes. An hour flies by all too quickly, which is always a good sign. Well worth checking out.
GAY TIMES gives An Evening Without Kate Bush – 4/5
More information can be found here.