Some cabaret performers attempt to lull you into a false sense of security about what they do, but thankfully any audience finds out quickly enough what they’re going to get from that svelte and sophisticated gentleman about town, Mr Meredith. His opening rendition of the Doris Day classic
Mr Meredith has a life-enhancing message about embracing anticipation, grasping the therapeutic power of lying, and certainly not wasting our time looking for the next big thing
The title of his latest show is a bit of a mouthful – oops, innuendo can be like an STD, i.e. infectious – but Mr Meredith’s titular focus on dating, and especially how GPS-based smartphone apps have changed things, forms a strong enough backbone for what follows. A repeated theme – given how he’s unimaginably single again – is his genuine amazement at how technology has changed the whole dating scene; the “swipe left/right” nature of liking or disliking profiles on Tinder, for example, that enables you to destroy any self-esteem you might have from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
But beyond the knob jokes which just keep on coming, his delightful, self-effacing songs – explaining why he has to get his “kicks”, how he fell in love with a Dalek, or detailing the embarrassing things we’ve all done while drunk – Mr Meredith has a life-enhancing message about embracing anticipation, grasping the therapeutic power of lying, and certainly not wasting our time looking for the next big thing. Admittedly, the holiday round the world by song is stretching the “dating” concept a bit, but any opportunity to hear Mr Meredith perform (and mistranslate) Non, Je ne regrette rien is well worth it.
And yet… 3 stars. On the night of the review, Mr Meredith was forced – having started late – to curtail things rather abruptly (missing out his version of Bohemian Rhapsody, apparently). There was also a feeling that, given its slightly lush appeal, Mr Meredith’s 6.35pm slot at the Voodoo Rooms is just a tad too early in the evening, meaning it takes a bit longer than it should for him to warm up his quite sober audience. But perhaps worse, the keyboard is placed in a location which ensures that, whenever he’s performing a song, he’s out of the “spotlight” provided by this particular bar’s normal lighting.
Which frankly doesn’t feel like him at all!