Dillie Keane

A regular performer in Edinburgh and confident stage actress, Dillie Keane returns with her 'first solo show for 557 years'. Each member of the three-piece cabaret collective Fascinating Aïda have branched off for their own endeavours for the time being, but Dillie is here to tide you over with her debonair air and pleasantly droll humour.

Dillie remains too self-aware to really be rude, too slight in herself to be slighting.

In a chirpy blue-and-pink candy-wrapper dress, Dillie offers an hour of tongue-in-cheek musical comedy, picking her favourite pieces from her extensive career. There's not much new here, and might not entertain those currently unfamiliar with her work, but established fans should certainly be satisfied.

Her tunes and demeanour are charmingly superficial, pleasingly unsubstantial; she's more likely to provoke titters than laughs, yet shows that she still knows how to navigate a crowd. My main complaint would be the choice of venue – an auditorium seems too formalised, even in a Fringe space; an evening bar setting would presumably serve the show better. This ceremonial tribute to herself almost takes itself too seriously by not embracing the casual nature of its own light entertainment.

There are various modern references to Facebook and Tinder dotted through the songs – possibly recent creations or edited classics – but the show as a whole stays enjoyably in the past, singing of the same chaos and irritations in love and marriage that tormented her in her youth. This only veers into the archaic on a couple of occasions, notably with the refrain of ‘wouldn't it be nice to be a lesbian...’ (The way the word 'lesbian' is used as a punchline can come across as a bit slighting, if not offensive.)

Thankfully Dillie remains too self-aware to really be rude, too slight in herself to be slighting. And for those who already know her, this show is guaranteed to work wonders on your nostalgia and make for an enjoyable evening.

Reviews by Henry St Leger

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The Blurb

Fascinating Aida's very own Dillie Keane in her first solo show in 557 years. Brand new songs, grand old favourites, gorgeous songs of love and songs of disgraceful filth. Written by Dillie Keane and Adele Anderson. 'Keane, whose piano-playing remains as sprightly and inventive as ever, prompts gales of laughter with merely the raising of a quizzical eyebrow' ***** (Times). 'Her worldview is laconic, her lyrics lacerating, her voice now capable of going deeper than a Chilean miner' **** (Telegraph). 'Exudes faded glamour, a bit like Brighton sea front' ***** (Mail).