Singer/songwriter Ty Jeffries’ own special creation is the damaged-by-life showgirl Miss Hope Springs: part-Irish, part-Lithuanian and part-Eskimo. Her life story, seen often through a gin glass, centres on her untelevised Granada TV 1971 Special, Christmas Agogo, which she describes frequently to us as “an unaired classic”. This show features some of the songs we might have seen in that programme, had the TV company not demanded their money back.
Seated at a grand piano, dressed in a glitzy red and white Santa suit, trimmed with polar bear fur, from a bear she shot herself, she regales us with a wide range of seasonal songs, (all penned by Ty of course). They’re bouncy, jolly, sometimes with innuendos and sometimes drawled out with emotion (and gin).
It’s a marvellous 75-minute concoction, with its tales of Vegas, of pool parties in Beverley Hills, of encounters with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Sonny with and without Cher, and Mamma Cass. There’s even a night of sex with an Engelbert look-alike, who turns out to be Rocky, the Lesbian.
And not to be outdone by her friend Barbra Streisand, we hear Miss Hope Springs’ musical version of the life of Fanny Brice, entitled Funny Fanny, with a great Jewish clap-along song Bagels. We could have clapped her all the way back to her camper van home in Dungeness, where she lives with her husband Irving and his personal hairdresser Carlos.
To be honest I was making notes in the dark through tears of laughter. It’s a brilliant comic invention, and the skill of the pastiche songs is that we are sure we’ve heard them before – which of course we haven’t.
The show was at the wonderful Crazy Coqs cabaret room, London, but you can catch Miss Hope Springs this week at Brighton’s Rialto Theatre. Quick though as the 3-night run is pretty sold-out: tickets remaining only for Friday the 17th. You’d be as crazy as she is to miss it.
To see the show, book your tickets here
Watch the trailer