If you want to escape Covid fears, Downing Street parties and the cost of living, you could do worse than descend into the bowels of the Soho Theatre for Sarah-Louise Young’s funny crazy show An Evening Without Kate Bush, written by Sarah and Russell Lucas.
Sarah has the voice: high, loud, sharp and also tender and she has the wide-eyed, wild-eyed look, but it would be a gross understatement to label this a tribute show. We get a sampling of Kate’s greatest hits, but this is more about Sarah’s super-fan status and she uses parody and undercutting humour to bring the songstress to life before our happy, astonished eyes.
We get the white dress and red wig treatment for the finale of Wuthering Heights, where we sing and Sarah dances across the Yorkshire moors. But we also get a delightful routine as the cleaner who mopped the stage before Kate’s Hammersmith show.
There’s no doubt this is a show about our love of Kate even if she’s not there, which Sarah keeps reminding us, but the parody of the piece allows a little distance and it raises the show’s game. And there are forays into the delighted audience – to ask for favourite songs, to find out who’s a super fan and also so Sarah can get some comedy out of plucking audience members out of the dark and onto stage. All done with love not humiliation.
And we learn from an online Russian fan that Babooshka is pronounced Bar-booshka – who knew?
The great delight are the songs – just a few from Kate’s 125 – but we do get Don’t Give Up, Running Up That Hill, Army Dreamers, Hounds of Love, in which we are encouraged to howl, The Man With The Child In His Eyes- where Sarah is just brilliant- Cloudbusting, and Rubberband Girl- in this tight 60-minute show of wonder.
Go if you can – you may end up doing backing vocals or slow-dancing.
An Evening Without Kate Bush is at Soho Theatre until February 26. Tickets and times – sohotheatre.com