Ida Barr - Get Old Or Die Tryin'

As she shuffles onto the stage assisted by a Las Vegas showgirl, Ida Barr hardly looks like Grandma-rapper billed in the programme; but Ida is the lesser-known creation of Christopher Green, who's country-singing Tina C character featured in the TV show Yanky Panky.

Ida is a faded star from The Good Old Days. Dressed in Edwardian lace and long strings of pearls, she explains her return to the stage is made possible by the mixing of music hall with “the best of R & B urban street flavas“, and goes on to oblige by mixing rap with Harry Secombe, amongst others.

But the main part of tonight's programme is the Bingo - with an array of glittering prizes (no doubt assembled from the local Poundland). Everyone in the audience is equipped with bingo cards and pens, and Ida commences the calling of the numbers. Of course this gives her a perfect opportunity to find comic meaning in her own version of the bingo-rhymes.

Harking back to the drag act Mrs Shufflewick, but without the booze, Green's character finds much to laugh at amongst the feathers and support tights.

Green was occasionally unsure of the material, but in context it just added to the characterisation. In the end the whole crowd were on their feet doing the Hokey Kokey, thus ensuring Ida Barr's standing ovation at the final bow.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

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