Sadie Nine: Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Sadie Nine and Madam unleashed for an Edinburgh premiere. Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls charts her rollercoaster ride from No 1 album in Russia - The Russian Madonna- to West End Lautrec to top BBC presenter
This show is in the comedy section of the Fringe programme, but is not remotely a comic performance. I can see the problem. It doesn't fit into any neat category.
The production values are high for the Fringe. An elaborately-cluttered showbiz set, lots of audio inserts and Sadie occasionally belting out big, brassy disco and West End musical songs.
The show is really in the erratic tradition of theatrical memoirs. Sadie started as a magician's assistant touring down-at-heel provincial theatres and got her break when she went to Moscow to appear as a disco diva on Soviet TV's Top Of The Pops, little realising the country only had a single TV channel, she would be seen by 100 million people in one night and would become The Russian Madonna - an unfathomably famous Soviet singing star earning millions.
The bad news was that they were millions of roubles, which could not be taken out of the country, so she eventually started getting paid in Russian icons and suchlike, culminating in the offer of an $11 million MiG-47 fighter jet.
Returning to Britain and obscurity, she then got a phone call from Shane Richie (she plays his answerphone message!) to appear in a stage version of Boogie Nights, got another musical offer which turned into a poisoned chalice and ended up in Communist China where she almost recreated her Soviet fame.
And that doesn't even mention her radio career... nor the cute chihuahua who is briefly brought on to stare with understandable disbelief at the audience.
Sadie's is an extraordinary story professionally, though blandly, told. It becomes simply a list of what happened; it needs tiny killer details to illuminate what happens - character description and bizarreness.
But I hope it does what Sadie seems to want it to be - a calling card for any promoters, agents and producers in the audience. It's a 60-minute audition performance and I only hope that this admirable woman will be catapulted to megastardom yet again, this time perhaps in North Korea, Turkmenistan or maybe even the West End.
The show should not be in the comedy section, but it should be seen by all readers of Fortean Times and lovers of the truly strange.