You'd be forgiven for thinking that Julie Andrews' saccharin sweet, goody two shoes persona would provide little substance for a cabaret show but Sarah-Louise Young and musical director Michael Roulston manage to deliver not only a fact-packed biography from child star to superstar but original comedy, stunning impersonations and a host of knock-out tunes in this affectionate tribute to the beloved Dame in Julie Madly Deeply.
There was always a strong possibility that this could either be the work of a madwoman in possession of an unnatural obsession with Julie Andrews or merely a tribute act with second rate cover versions of Andrews’ songs. Instead, Young's show turns out to be the Rolls Royce of cabaret acts.
Young has a sublime voice of her own with stunning range and control and thoroughly does justice to Andrews' most famous songs, the only quibble is that there is little time for full length versions, leaving you wishing for more. The dialogue is original and inventive with some little known and often jaw-dropping facts included that even the super-fans will appreciate. There are many highly original sequences, the best of which includes Young providing a racecourse commentary on Julie and her fellow child star Petula Clark's respective careers. The show too is interspersed with impressions of some of the major players in Andrews' life, notably Audrey Hepburn and Liza Minnelli, both astonishing in their accuracy. Oh, and don't worry, after sitting through an hour of cabaret silently mouthing the words to the songs, there's an opportunity to get your full Julie on in a rousing greatest hits sing along at the end.
It is difficult to recreate the atmosphere of an intimate cabaret on a sun-filled Edinburgh afternoon but that's what this show achieves by completely transporting you through the sheer originality and talent of Young. Delivered with love and utter conviction this is a shiny gem of a show not to be missed.