Olivier Award-nominated British cabaret act, Fascinating Aïda, has been thrilling audiences with its satirical comedy since it was set-up in 1983. their latest show, Cheap Flights, incorporates a number of well-loved songs, including my personal favourite, a delightful homage to the joys of dogging in an Asda car park. It also features the infamous title song which has had more than eight million hits on YouTube and mocks the ‘fecking’ airlines offering 50p journeys, with fake Irish dancing included at no extra charge (unlike airport taxes). Other songs tackle various hot topics from the global domination of Tesco to euthanasia and Andy Murray’s gold tennis medal win in the Olympics.
Liza Pulman, returning to the show after a year away, has the most impressive voice of the trio and her rich, velvety tone has a whole beautifully-performed and non-comedic song devoted to it. Adèle Anderson and Dillie Keane complete the group and together the three singers perform with humorously straight faces in a melodious three-part harmony. They even offer the audience useful advice. Are you struggling for money in the recession? Avoid paying tax with an offshore bank account. Still poor? Write a novel using Fascinating Aïda’s handy step-by-step guide.
Compared with other cabaret acts at the Fringe, this is a mainstream and relatively inoffensive show. You could go and see it with your parents without facing an awkward conversation about anal sex (as might happen over dinner after a family trip to EastEnd Cabaret). But there is still plenty of punch; Fascinating Aïda’s songs are witty, amusing and superbly-performed.
**** – 4 stars
Fascinating Aida: Cheap Flights is playing at the Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival until 26th August. For more information and tickets, see the Edinburgh Fringe website.