ALP Musicals (venue)
24 January 2021 (released)
In a time where Fake News has been the ‘catch all’ for avoiding the truth, we have this sardonic take on the loosely true story of Kate Fox one of the three Fabulous Fox Sisters, and the supposed originator of Spiritualism. This has been created by Luke Bateman (Music) and Michael Conley (Book and Lyrics) who have used the late 1800’s music style to create a one woman cabaret /vaudeville piece that has catchy tunes and sharp and witty lyrics. The songs having echoes of Fascinating Aida and their comedic style.
Michael Conley also inhabits the central character of Kate with such joy and sarcasm he captures of the full absurdity of a life based on a lie superbly well. We discover that Kate has an inherent skill to ‘pop her toes ‘ and that with the aid of sisters Leah and Maggie create a craving for séances that becomes a world-wide success before it and their eventual decline. The popping of the toes being the knocks of the dearly departed. His portrayal of her as she gathers such destructive friends as Jim Bean and Glenlivet and loses the ones she loves is full of pathos and some very poignant moments
This musical is staged as if we are attending Kate’s very last séance in 1892, where she dispenses with the usual fakery and decides to come clean, relating her life story from the age of 7 to grave. This is where the concept, although highly entertaining is a little too traditional and linear, and takes time to pick up pace.
Casting Keys/Musical Supervisor Tamara Saringer and Percussionist Becky Brass as the dead sisters Leah and Maggie is an interesting idea that is established nicely at the top of the show but somewhat under used after that point.
At just over an hour it Is huge fun and a tour de force for Conley but somehow falls a little short of challenging what a biographical musical could be.