Pros: I admire Miss Hope’s commitment to carry on, despite the numerous walk-outs induced by technical issues.
Cons: The appalling sound quality.
Inaugurated at the dawn of the Edwardian Era, Wigmore Hall is a gorgeous venue just off Oxford Street, which was built to offer an intimate but splendid home to popular chamber music concerts. Nowadays, it promotes around 400 events a year, and weekly concerts are broadcast live on Radio Three.
Also included in the programme is a series of late musical and cabaret performances. As part of these Wigmore Lates, the hall has invited international cabaret star Miss Hope Springs to present her brand-new LP The Devil Made Me Do It. Currently touring across the UK, the former Las Vegas sensation offers a selection of self-penned pop songs, romantic rhumbas and torch songs intertwined with the most intimate tales of her former lovers and glorious memories from all over the world. Arguably one of the most stunning men in drag, she matches a sparkling red sequinned dress with a platinum blonde wig and a set of eyelashes that could cause a tsunami.
As soon as she sat at the grand piano, a sweet and melancholic melody filled the room but when she started singing, I realised that her warm voice wasn’t properly amplified. From my seat near the back, I struggled to hear the lyrics. After the first song, there was a bit of commotion in the auditorium. A few stewards scurried out, perhaps to inform the technical team, and at the performer’s question ‘Can you all hear me properly?’, the audience responded in chorus, ‘Nooo!’. Following a moment of general embarrassment, the optimistic – or should we say hopeful – Miss Hope resumed her performance with a couple of tongue in cheek trivia from her past. Sadly, though, when she began singing again the quality of the sound hadn’t improved much, and some of the patrons started making their way out.
Wigmore Hall’s almost perfect acoustic properties are clearly more appropriate for unamplified performances or, perhaps, the engineer in charge of Miss Hope’s microphone might have underestimated the challenges of this unique venue. As for me, I spent the evening unsuccessfully trying to understand what the beautiful sequinned lady on stage was singing about.
Given the strongly positive reviews Miss Springs receives across the globe and based upon the rapturous response from those that could hear, I would relish the opportunity to see her perform at a more suitable venue, perhaps when she returns to London in July.
Composed and Written By: Ty Jeffries
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run. Miss Hope Springs will play at Wilton’s Music Hall on 12-13 July 2017.