Rebecca Carrington: Me, My Cello & I

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

Despite constantly being billed as comedy, this is not what former Royal Philharmonic cellist really Rebecca Carrington does.

She is a mildly entertaining presence, sweetly introducing her pieces with elegance and erudition. The show oozes rich class, like a vintage claret, but that’s a long way from rip-roaring stand-up.

But she has mastered so many talents, it would seem churlish to demand she be a top-notch comedian, too. As well as being a musician of stunning virtuosity, she has a seductive singing voice that can switch from haunting beauty to warbling French chanteuse in the space of a semibreve. Oh, and she’s an accomplished polyglot, too.

In the show, she combines these substantial abilities to offer a brief jaunt around the world in 80 plays, covering music from Hungarian folk to traditional Japanese. The sounds she coaxes from her cello are truly impressive, it’s an oversized Irish fiddle one moment, a Britney Spears backing instrument the next. It’s only matched by the versatility of her voice – which she annoyingly gives a name, Iris.

You don’t even have to be a particularly ardent classical music fan to enjoy this. It’s not about name-dropping long-dead composers or an excuse for her to make superior jokes to show off how cultured she is. Instead Carrington creates a diverse range of beautiful musical sketches which are simply stunning.

It’s jaw-droppingly impressive: an enriching, edifying experience delivered in a stylishly endearing low-key way. OK, so it’s not hilarious, but so long as you’re aware of that when you buy your ticket, you will be bowled over.

Review date: 1 Aug 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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