A naively self-absorbed American country music star from Tennessee, created by comedian Christopher Green
Tina C Videos
Tina C's Election Playlist at the 2010 Brighton Fringe
Has fast-working Tina C come up with the first post-election political show out of the trap, less than 24 hours after the polls closed? Well no.
Despite its title, this latest offering from Christopher Green’s leggy country singer is simply a package of greatest hits, with occasional mention of the leaders’ debates, Brighton’s new ‘special’ Green MP or the violent anarchy that is sure to ensue now we have a hung parliament should the right-wing press be believed. The initial premise that she had been sent over as some sort of special emissary to mentor Messers Cameron, Brown and Clegg is swiftly forgotten.
In fact, a lot of this show is culled from her 2008 offering, when the premise was she was standing in the American elections. Cue gags about hanging chads, 9/11 and ‘white trash in the White House’. It seems a little dated, and certainly too American-centric, after a lot of her audience would have stayed up half the night to immerse themselves in current British politics – even though the political angle was clearly never meant to be taken seriously.
This is really a classy, middle-brow drag show, all about the glamour, the glitz and the bitchiness – even though all the pink sequins in the world aren’t enough to inject a party atmosphere in the vast, icy cold and under-populated tent that is the Brighton Fringe’s unforgiving Freerange venue. Even cover versions of 9 To 5, Dancing Queen and a jazzed up Nessun Dorma ‘improved’ with a country and western beat do little to thaw the atmosphere.
She also covers Toby Keith’s aggressively patriotic redneck song Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American); where it’s hard to see the joke given that the original is so extreme. And sometimes that’s Green’s undoing – he’s clearly too affectionate for the music to spoof it, especially as it’s a genre that almost immune to parody, so the best he gets is with the song titles. You’ve got to love a track called If You Can’t Live Without Me Why Weren’t You Dead When I Met You? – a gag that couldn’t be improved on if he sang the song, so advisedly he didn’t.
Similarly, there’s only so many times Tina C from Tennessee (geddit?) can mock the vocal oscillations of country’s most extravagant divas; so instead picks up on their earnest self-centred ignorance with tongue-in-cheek between-song banter. This throws up some good lines – such as the irresistible way she pronounces ‘Bright-Town’ – as well as a few lame ducks, including the vacuous running joke that everyone and everything is ‘valid’.
So is it a good show or not? In one echo of the election result at least, neither argument has a convincing mandate…
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