If you know nothing of Fascinating Aïda, then you are the only one. Get on YouTube and watch Cheap Flights now; I’ll wait.
You now understand what we’re dealing with. The three high class ladies, Dillie, Adele and Liza, are all absolute gems. The show is the perfect mix of cabaret singing, middle-class humour and brilliant personalities. The songs are superb, each one providing either cutting social satire or fresh takes on affluent issues, including everything from pick and mix religion to be being down with the kids. I’m not sure you have lived until you have heard a voice fit for Radio 4 sing about the joys of dogging. The lyrics are so clever they could make an Oxbridge professor blush and it makes it all the more amazing that the ladies write all of their material themselves; their bulgarian folk cycle is proof that one liners can be sung rather than simply told while the eponymous Cheap Flights is still an absolute winner even with two years mileage clocked up.
However, it is not the songs that make the show but the ladies themselves. Liza has one hell of a voice and adds depth and harmony to the songs, Dillie has fantastic stage presence and superb timing and Adele puts on an airhead act to support her brilliant dry wit and hilarious facial expressions. These three gel together perfectly, which probably comes from their time performing together (Dillie and Adele having performed together for over 20 years.) This makes their dance routines both hilarious and tight and their onstage patter succinct and pacey.
Unfortunately the songs often tread over a well beaten path; there is only so much middle class satire you can take and Fascinating Aida’s style remains stubbornly in one place. For most, this won’t harm the show as the lyrical quality is of such a high standard but a little bit of variation in style could add even more pace to an already excellent performance.
However, this is a minor quibble and these three women are marvellous performers and their lyrical ability is more than simply fascinating.