Rebecca Carrington : Original Review
Note: This review is from 2007
If you’re looking for something to make you stand out the comedy circuit, you could do a lot worse than a 300-year-old cello, mounted on its own stiletto spike.
Rebecca Carrington is a classically trained musician, with stints at the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony orchestras under her under her belt, but who likes to moonlight from the genteel world of the chamber orchestra for the more earthy delights of comedy.
And boy is she talented. Not only is she a virtuoso at her instrument, she has a rich, wide-ranging voice, and an energetic, confidence stage manner that sweeps all before it.
This appealing package gives her a great advantage; it’s easy for an audience to fall a little bit in love with an attractive woman, expertly playing rich, emotive music and providing her own mellifluous vocals. Even if she does almost immediately destroy the magic by making a tit of herself for comic effect.
Her stock-in-trade is to give the rich orchestral treatment to the latest in disposable bubblegum pop by the likes of Beyonce or Madonna, only for the piece to fall apart as she abandons her cello for some rather silly dancing.
This always gets a laugh as recognition of the track slowly dawns, but it’s a technique she has tendency to overuse, repeating the same gag time and again.
Similarly the conceit that her instrument, which she nicknames Joe, is her lover wears thin; and you could make an argument for the fact her comedy relies on very broad national stereotypes of the Scottish, the Spanish and the French to name but three. It’s almost Allo Allo with strings.
But that’s to miss the point. Despite the presence of a cello that screams ‘culture’, this is not sophisticated high comedy. Instead, it’s a bit of variety-hall knockabout, and hugely entertaining for that.
Carrington is a brilliant vocal mimic, and can persuade ‘Joe’ to impersonate almost any instrument on demand – and the vignettes they so skilfully recreate provide an irresistible lift to any show.
Rebecca Carrington Dates
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