An Evening Without Kate Bush
  • By Ben Dali
  • |
  • 15th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Sarah-Louise Young is one of Edinburgh Fringe's most respected and sought after musical variety performers, and it's no stretch of the imagination to see why, as she delivers a true masterpiece here that only she (and potentially Kate Bush) could pull off. Right from her hauntingly beautiful opening, mysteriously veiled and flaunting her stunning voice, she holds the audience in the palm of her hand. It becomes apparent as she unveils the first of her immaculate costumes that this is a full on cabaret show, and no mere tribute act.

Savours every moment, as she lets rip physically and vocally without an imperfect note or phrasing in sight.

Young takes on the guise of a quasi-Kate Bush that is a sophisticated portrayal and bonafide love letter, rather than parody. The presentation is superb, and before long, the audience is howling along to Hounds of Love and made to feel welcome regardless of the extent of the connection we feel to the music. She addresses the audience with the panache that only a highly seasoned master of their trade can. Her professionalism is reinforced with an improvised song directly to her sound tech over a mild technical hiccup, and respectfully handling a woman who had been on her phone, in a manner that prompted applause from the whole room.

The format takes a series of songs, including all the classics, plus Babooshka in Russian, interwoven with anecdotal and comical links and trivia, a cascade of kooky characters, and some costumes that would make a burlesquer envious. Her use of audience members is inspiring, as she brings one of the younger Bush fans onto stage to back up the chorus to Cloudbusting and invites a couple to slowdance behind her during a romantic ballad. The stagecraft is awestriking and Young savours every moment as she lets rip physically and vocally without an imperfect note or phrasing in sight. We are encouraged to sing along as much – or little – as we desire, and even take the lead on Wuthering Heights as she prances about elegantly on stage.

It is clear from the start that even non-Bush-worshippers will be able to access the material. Familiarity with the songs is not even a prerequisite to enjoy it, and those who do worship Bush will soon worship Young as well. So long as you aren't prejudiced against the music, there is a huge amount of joy to be found within this hour. If An Evening Without Kate Bush were on the paid fringe, everyone in the city would be talking about it. The fact it is hosted by PBH's Free Fringe gives it an intimate feel, despite it being in their most luxurious venue, and anybody who admires Bush, or would consider delving further into her oeuvre, will be introduced to a very special world.

Reviews by Victor Black

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Tues Night @ Social Club

★★★
Assembly George Square Gardens

Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name

★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

A Highly Suspect Murder Mystery

★★★
Canal Cafe Theatre / Hen & Chickens Theatre

Dirty Tricks: How the Illusionati Rule the World

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The chaotic cabaret cult! Howl with the Hounds of Love and dance on the moors with Wuthering Heights. Kate's not there, but you are. Over a career spanning five decades, Bush has always attracted loyal and devoted followers and this brand-new show celebrates their stories. Performer Sarah-Louise Young reunites with director Russell Lucas to explore the fans and music of one of the most influential voices in British pop culture. From the makers of Julie Madly Deeply... but completely different. 'Deliriously wonderful cabaret' ***** (ThreeWeeks for Julie Madly Deeply).

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets