Maureen Lipman more than qualifies for National Treasure status; she’s shared the stage with everyone from Olivier to Hugh Jackman and has appeared in Oscar winning movies and national advertising campaigns. She has even achieved one of the greatest acting achievements (in my opinion) and played an alien villain on Doctor Who.
50 plus years after her first Fringe show, Lipman's star continues to rise.
This evening of anecdotes, jokes, rants, song and dance is a showcase for a true renaissance woman who clearly knows exactly where she sits in the perception of the great British public. At one moment, she’s knowingly and unashamedly name-dropping, the next she’s performing a snappy number before segueing into a series of politically incorrect (but never offensive) jokes. She’s the perfect troublesome Jewish granny and the audience is enthralled. Lipman tackles the subjects of age, ladies’ loos, reality TV, and her personal take on the #MeToo movement all with an energy and enthusiasm that would certainly make you question her listed age.
One mark of a true professional is the confidence to cede the stage to other talent and Lipman is masterfully backed by Charlie Woods on piano and a surprise guest on bass. These two get their chance to shine throughout and also accompany the wonderful Jacqui Dankworth who takes to the stage throughout to deliver some spectacular torch songs. This gives the show the feel of those long-lost and sadly lamented classic Saturday night variety shows with Lipman as the cheeky but charming host welcoming her showbiz pals to entertain us.
From the opening number to the closing moments, Maureen Lipman displays the professionalism and graft that has made her such a well-known name. The recent announcement that she will be joining the cast of that other British institution, Coronation Street just goes to show that, even 50 plus years after her first Fringe show, Lipman's star continues to rise.