Pros: Fantastic musical numbers from four performers at the top of their game.
Cons: If you don’t like musical theatre, you may not enjoy what the Four Femmes have to offer.
I love musicals. I always have. Something about belted-out melody and synchronized dancing makes me feel incredibly happy. Apparently this doesn’t happen to everyone. For those who, like me, were born with the musical-loving gene, the Four Femmes on the Thames bring an hour of unadulterated bliss.
Four Femmes on the Thames is not the name of a show but of an all-female four part harmony group. The foursome is evocative of ‘40s style girl bands like the Andrews Sisters, but with a modern and dirty twist. Each Femme has a comic persona, making them also a bit like the Spice Girls, but with great singing voices. There’s Femme Frivolous (Abby Mordue), Femme Free-Spirit (Emma Drysdale), Femme Flithy (Katy Baker) and Femme Fanciful (Grace Rowe). All the Femmes have gorgeous singing voices and also receive excellent support from ‘the hommes’: Barnaby Southgate on piano and Toby Boutell on the bass.
For the Femmes’ hour-long musical revue, the Canal Cafe Theatre was transformed into a cabaret-style lounge. The show has no plot to speak of. Snatches of very funny dialogue about the Femmes’ life in the capital take us from one fabulous musical number to the next. As well as being extremely well polished, the songs are often side-splittingly funny. The Femmes’ repertoire is wide, from forties classics like ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,’ to current hits like Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky.’ Sometimes original lyrics were left untouched; others were rewritten as parodies, usually describing the Femmes’ life in London. While all the numbers are terrific, their one original song, ‘Taken Up the Shard’, brought the house down. I for one would love to hear more Femmes originals.
This show is fabulous and very funny. I’m declaring myself a Four-Femmes fanatic.
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The Four Femmes on the Thames have now finished their run at the Camden Fringe. For more information on the Four Femmes visit http://www.fourfemmesonthethames.co.uk/.