Leicester Square Theatre
Here she plays a startlingly different role in this hilarious tale of a faded rock stars life. It is a spin off from the 2001 musical Closer to Heaven (with music again by the Pet Shop Boys and writing by Jonathan Harvey).
The opening scene is full of European arthouse angst – “I never knew my father” set to a backdrop of black & white photos of a devastated post war Berlin where she was born. “Times were tough but I was tougher” she growls with a voice like anvils in a cement mixer.
We meet various characters along the way, many of which appear to have stolen her ideas; she said she wasn’t impressed much to Shania Twain; shared a can of soup with Warhol; showed the Berlin wall to Trump and lost her lashes to Dusty – you have to be completely across ALL your pop references for this show!
She has seen it all, done it all, and been there twice. Witticisms abound alongside the crude, lewd and lascivious: “I first made love to a woman between the toes of the Statue of Liberty” and the more prosaic “A man isn’t a man till he’s taken it up the arse”.
Barber has precise delivery and extraordinarily good comic timing -she knows just when to let a punchline linger and when to push on like a firework and keep the energy fizzing.
Many of the audience will have come to hear the six new and original songs from the Pet Shop Boys but the true star of the show is Frances Barber – a jaded, comic delight.
MUSIK Written by Jonathan Harvey & Pet Shop Boys Songs by Pet Shop Boys Leicester Square Theatre 6 Leicester Place London WC2H 7BX Wednesday 5 February - Sunday 1 March
REVIEW : JONNY WARD
Jonny Ward, Queerguru Contributing EDITOR is a drama graduate but has worked backstage for many years at venues such as The ROYAL ALBERT Hall, The 02, Southbank Centre and is currently at The NATIONAL THEATRE. He lives in Hoxton, London and is delighted to check out the latest, the hottest and the downright dodgy in queer culture for Queerguru. (P.S. He is currently single) @JonnyWard360