Fascinating Aida, that group of three lyrical lassies who have entertained us over the last twenty years with their own brand of wit and satirical ditties, are finally hanging up their sequins and waving goodbye to fans with their final show ‘One Last Flutter’. Each night the trio will sing a selection of their old favourites, and new ones, all sung with wonderful frivolity, yet if you listen closely to the lyrics most are wickedly satirical.
However, the first act is by far the weakest, and their mildly amusing but rather inapt choice of songs from their ensemble of work had me wondering if the group should have retired much earlier. The act lacked lustre, and I found it hard to warm to their medley of songs, ‘Sew On A Sequin’, ’Get Knotted’ and ‘Boring’, and even their new material ‘Colleagues From Hell’ and ‘Is it me, Or is it Hot in Here?’ seemed pity lame. Where was the biting satire? The only choice of song that had me laughing in the first half was “Moscow, Moscow”, which is their tribute to Checkov’s ‘Three Sisters’.
The second act more than redeems the mishap of the first. The songs are full of satirical, outrageous lyrics that poke fun at politicians, art, Armageddon and anything and anyone else that may put a “damper on life”. The girls even have advice on how to face death and certain destruction with a laugh and a smirk in the hilarious number ‘Stick Your Head Between Your Knees’. I would love to tell you what their advice is once you have placed your head between your knees, but since this is one of their new songs I will not spoil the fun by telling you here. On the theme of death and destruction we are also told of the suddenly discovered delights of living in New Zealand, a song that the audience members are asked to sing along to! This evening’s audience were a fairly raucous lot who joined in the spirit of the occasion: heckling and booing throughout this song is highly encouraged. There is also a song about ‘Poor Lizzie’, a woman of delicate disposition who suffers one sexual mishap after another as a result of townies moving into her part of the countryside.
The trio do not just write jovial tunes, they are also capable of writing beautiful melodies and their new song “Goodbye Old Friends” with which they say goodbye to their fans is enchanting. Though this is Fascinating Aida’s farewell show it does not end with a tacky, sentimental goodbye tribute, but with a light hearted send up of Cabaret plus a vivid demonstration of how appalling German accents can make up for an equally appalling lack of talent.
All three women are great cabaret artists and an absolute delight. Dillie Keane is the natural comedian, her facial expressions of distain and ability to parody a posh English accent means she is instantly able to make you smile. Adele Anderson has a deep gravel voice that reminds one of Marlene Dietrich, she also has Dietrich’s tall slender frame and sultry looks. Marilyn Cutts has the best singing voice of the trio and her clear smooth voice always reaches those high notes. For their last flutter the three women have included a man in their act Russell Churney who accompanies them on the piano and occasionally sings a song, as well as providing a constant source of merriment for the girls’ quips.
Fascinating Aida’s last flutter in the West End begins slowly, but stick around for the second act because it gathers hilarious momentum.