Cocktails with the Diva

The Oxford Dictionary describes 'Diva' as: “A celebrated female opera singer, a famous female singer of popular music, or a woman regarded as temperamental or haughty”. Melinda Hughes, the Diva in this case, has many of these attributes; she has an Opera background, she sings songs in a popular style and she puts on a haughty demeanour within the context of her charming and witty show. The performance is just lacking that extra bit of star quality expected of a true Diva. Everything is in place, thought through and carefully rehearsed, but lacks sassy confidence.

She should have absolute faith in her material and trust and enjoy her delivery.

The material (presumably original), is cleverly written – lyrically and melodically. The amusing lyrics are delivered with immaculate articulation and the tuneful melodies with perfect intonation. The opening number: The Edinburgh Drag is an excellent starter with a strong musical hook and biting lyrics and the wicked Kander and Ebb spoof will ring bells for anyone having seen Chicago or Cabaret. The Fanny Brice-ish My Man/Bill torch song gave excellent musical contrast and the compound time patter number would amuse Noël Coward.

Hughes is delicately accompanied by piano, bass and drums, which never overpower, although the inner rhythm between singer and band does rush at certain times. The venue is perfect for the show, but the pianist, Jeremy, is awkwardly placed behind Hughes and there is a tendency for her to look to him for support. She should have absolute faith in her material and trust and enjoy her delivery. Her banter with Jeremy is cleanly delivered and rehearsed, but would benefit from sounding more off-the-cuff.

Hughes' Diva has an innocent exterior and wicked interior. It is a very entertaining evening, the songs are clever and she is endearing with a stunning voice. If you're lucky, you may receive a cocktail too!

Reviews by Gordon Noele

The Assembly Rooms

Cocktails with the Diva

★★★
Assembly George Square Theatre

Making It!

★★★
Assembly Checkpoint

Joe Stilgoe: Songs On Film

★★★★
Paradise in The Vault

A Male Soprano

★★★

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

Spend an hour in the boudoir of Diva Melinda Hughes and her victimised pianist Jeremy Limb, where she shares her views on world affairs, plastic surgery, bad cabaret and how to mix the perfect Cosmopolitan. This musical romp through social satire and politics is composed of original and risqué songs with brilliantly crafted pastiches on opera and jazz with roots in Weimar Cabaret.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets