Janis Joplin: Full Tilt

Grab your feather boas, slug down a bottle of Jack Daniels in one and prepare yourself for this rocking, superb and moving show. Janis Joplin: Full Tilt brings the life of the famed singer barrelling off the stage with a perfect blend of music and theatre.

Whether you know the Joplin canon or not, when Darcy and her absolutely stunning band are in full tilt, there is not a chance that you won't be taken away by this incredible show.​

In the lead role we have Angela Darcy, a woman who can really belt out Joplin classics when her band are swinging and has nailed Joplin's accent (especially Joplin's suffixing of every sentence with 'man', but tinged with that Texan drawl to make it 'me-han') and, more importantly, her spirit. Darcy captures the raw emotion of Joplin's performances both during and in between songs. The singer was famed for her long, drawn out speeches on peace and love between tracks when doing live shows. Writer Peter Arnott uses this fact expertly as a chance for Janis to tell her story. The real power, however, lies in her backstage monologues. Sat at her cluttered dressing table, bottle of Southern Comfort close to hand, Arnott gives Janis the chance to reveal some of the more depressing and delicate episodes from her life. Juxtaposing this brilliantly with her blasting hits to add weight to the songs and stories simultaneously.

The structure of monologues and songs, especially when a male acquaintance comes forward to talk about his time with Janis, is a clever and well used device. The only time Arnott sullies this is with a full on theatre scene with multiple character's speaking to each other rather than the audience. This may seem like a minor niggle, and it is, but the rest of the show feels so personal and insightful that suddenly pulling away, at quite a crucial moment as well, is jarring and unfortunately detaches one somewhat.

Whether you know the Joplin canon or not, when Darcy and her absolutely stunning band are in full tilt, there is not a chance that you won't be taken away by this incredible show.

Reviews by Andy Currums

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

From Fringe First winners, writer Peter Arnott and director Cora Bissett, and featuring Angela Darcy as Joplin. 'So brilliant and intense musically and dramatically it lifts the hairs on the back of the neck' ***** (Scotsman). In association with Richard Jordan Productions.