Léonie Kate Higgins brings her own - often heart-wrenching - take on the all too familiar theme of pursuing stardom in our celebrity obsessed world in her one-woman show Bright Lights. It's Léonie's last day at her receptionist job before she moves to Eastbourne 'London's not where it's at any more' to chase her dream of international fame and fortune. Using looped vocals and utilising the office stationary to create sound illustrations, Léonie trains the new member of staff (the audience) and flashes forward to her new life as a global superstar.
All the elements you would expect are here: the dodgy producer with a bedroom recording studio in his mum's house, the Svengali manager who wants to change her and the inevitable sell-outs and compromises that have to be made to achieve even a modicum of fame, but what sets Higgins apart is that she is genuinely funny and musically talented. Her soft delivery and eternally optimistic persona make you root for her as she naively negotiates every obstacles that's thrown her way. The dialogue is eloquent and original but where it all falls down is that the content is thin and there's just not enough here to sustain the one hour running time. The build up is painfully slow, yet the ending when it comes seems rushed. There are a few awkward moments where the expected laughs don't come and some technological blips which Higgins negotiates with aplomb, but it's only the fact that she herself is so endearing that makes you stay with her to the bitter end.
There's the skeleton of a good show here but it needs a fresh pair of eyes and a lot more content to fully utilise Higgins obvious comedic and musical talent. With a bit of work this really would be a show worth seeing.