An evening with Fascinating Aïda, now in its third incarnation, makes you understand why fans will not allow this group to disband (even though they have tried… twice). With comedy that is well observed, intelligent and has a dusting of Ab Fab campery, the three performers (Dillie Keane, Adele Anderson and Sarah Louise Young) create an evening of pure satirical delight.

There is a trusting comfort in the performances on stage. This is not a piece of theatre that strives to appear perfectly polished; it thrives on moments that can’t be repeated and exercises the quick wit of its performers. Keane, Anderson and Young not only know how to work their material to its fullest capacity but also how to handle an audience. Dillie Keane particularly stands out as being wholly in her element. She appears at ease and completely natural, showcasing her exceptionally strong comic timing.

The subjects of the songs range from dogging to shopping at Tesco and are showcased in the style of Bulgarian song cycles, madrigal pieces and the more traditional setting of voices with piano accompaniment (played by Keane throughout). The direction and choreography (Spencer Soloman) worked especially well with the lyrics and ideas of each song.

From the opening song the audience are drawn into the world of FA. Slowly we are taken down a path that constantly surprises, excites and charms people of all (adult) ages. However, this is not a purely comedic evening as one piece, dedicated to the memory of friends and loved ones that have passed away, had several audience members in tears.

I felt that the opening number was somewhat weaker than the rest of the show, but afterwards I could see how it had prepared me for what was to come (starting with a song based on a mature woman’s experience of dogging may not set the audience at ease after all). There were also some issues with sound during this performance. At times the harmonies overpowered the tune of the song and a few cues seem to have been a bit slow to pick up. However, these are rather minor points in a truly brilliant evening.

It’s time for Fascinating Aïda to make a triumphant return to a big house in the West End (or to write a fully fledged musical, like musical comedian Tim Minchin has recently done with Matilda). Along with Tesco’s Finest and Pippa Middleton’s bottom, Fascinating Aïda is a national treasure.

Fascinating Aïda is playing at The Charing Cross Theatre until 7 January 2012. For more information and tickets, see the website here.