Christina Bianco: First Impressions
  • By Ben Dali
  • |
  • 6th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

With First Impressions, Christina Bianco further cements her reputation as the First Lady of Impersonation. This is a rollercoaster of blistering talent from start to finish, and it’s no wonder this lady goes viral time and time again. From the moment Bianco steps out on stage, the audience know they’re in for a real treat.

Cabaret at its absolute finest.

Over the course of the hour, our star covers every single diva and major recognisable female personality from the last 50 years of music, and nails each one as though she were there in the room. Songs and impressions are mostly universally recognisable and always chosen perfectly for maximum fun and to show off her staggeringly powerful and versatile voice.

The show provides plenty of variety, packed with fun parodies and medleys. With recorded excerpts from her ‘impressionable’ friends and famous movie speeches in the style of contrasting actresses, there is truly never a dull moment here. She addresses the audience perfectly in each link, with a gravitas and rhetoric worthy of Streisand and Minelli themselves. An easily overlooked highlight for me was a short off-the-mic discussion with her live band before launching into an improv section. It felt like a magician revealing a secret, only to baffle the audience with a killer twist – all part of the schtick of course, but perfectly orchestrated, as if she was letting the audience in to her own private world behind the scenes. On the point of the band, the three-piece group are wonderful throughout, and even includes the multi-faceted musical comedian Laurence Owen, whose own talents also know no bounds.

Looking around the audience at various points during First Impressions, I was struck by how over 200 people had smiles transfixed to their faces as they looked on with awe and delight, regardless of whether Bianco was singing, talking, or even pausing between songs. It’s a rare type of performer who can have that effect on a crowd. This show is cabaret at its absolute finest, and is a strong argument for why this festival should have a dedicated Cabaret Award. If it had one this year, the faultless Bianco would be a shoe-in.

Reviews by Ben Dali

Underbelly, Cowgate

SK Shlomo: Surrender

★★★★
Assembly Rooms

Melinda Hughes: Off the Scale

★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

Comedy Hypnotist and Mentalist Mark Knight

Just the Tonic at Marlin's Wynd

Les Quizérables

★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Globe Bar

Dave Bibby: Crazy Cat Lad-y

★★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Voodoo Rooms

The Creative Martyrs: Kabarett DysUtopia

★★★★

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

From The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Paul O'Grady Show, and ITV's The Imitation Game, the girl with a thousand voices returns to the Fringe with a brand-new show. Through her uncanny impressions and musical mash-ups, this 'comic firecracker with a pyrotechnic voice' (Time Out) will celebrate the stars who've made lasting impressions on us all. 'A tour de force!' (New York Times). 'It's likely anyone observing this vocal obstacle course will spend many dazzled moments wondering how Bianco does it. Well, she does it with heart-stopping facility' (Huffington Post). 'She's a star' (Playbill).

Most Popular See More

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets