Sex 'n' Slugs 'n' Accordion

Stumbling in on this show is like discovering a bizarre yet dazzling gem in the back of a thrift shop. Jet Black Pearl performed by Jetty Swart is the most eccentric and equally the most talented woman you will see in Edinburgh this month. In her handmade skirt of ties sewed together, she leaps on-stage with a mischievous glint in her eye and Antonio, her beloved accordion. She beat-boxes, she plays the accordion and flute, she sings, she impersonates animals, and she will undoubtedly win your heart. Coloured richly by her frequent travelling, she has the carefree spirit of a traveller and will take you away with her for an hour into the world of her varied and surreal imagination.

Swart's songs are as abstract as they come, sexual slugs, people with butterflies for hands, anything you can imagine and mostly things that you can't. She records various sounds on her loop pedal and creates multi-layered cacophonies of vocal effects and harmonies whilst she sings her melodies over the top. She sings in english, french, and even a bit of dutch. A truly astounding and individual performer, the likes of which you will not have seen before.

The most striking feature of Swart's performance is her infectious enthusiasm for life; she is utterly impassioned and is clearly delighted to be on stage. Her voice has an extensive range, and she swoops between octaves with ease and technical excellence. Although on the surface her songs appear to be playful, there is a real sincerity and warmth to the messages she conveys. Her song about travelling is exceptionally touching, as Swart howls out 'Wherever I am, I'm always leaving,' there is a deep melancholia hanging in the air.

This certainly isn't for everyone, as Swart's unique performance style is a little inaccessible. She is uncompromising, and will scream and shriek around the stage with gusto. However, this is a really different experience from a cabaret act and Jet Black Pearl is an extremely talented performer. Well worth an hour of your time and a large chunk of your heart as well.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Jet sings stories about slugs in love, criminal gurus and hallucinating butterflies while beatboxing and playing the accordion, loop-station, toy-piano and flute. ‘Hilarious, engaging, dramatic, energetic, touching and thoroughly original’ (SLO Tribune). www.jetblackpearl.com.

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