Review: Fascinating Aïda, Southbank Centre

Fascinating Aïda are performing their brand-new show at Southbank Centre all throughout December until early January. The cabaret trio delight with an evening of astonishingly contemporary and highly political song performances.

Dillie Keane, Adèle Anderson, Liza Pulman and pianist Michael Roulston invite the audience to join them in exploring the themes of aging, what it means to be a woman, modern day Britain and the good old jokes about the Irish. And they are not holding back.

It’s hard to keep a straight face during the performance and not break into laughter at least every thirty seconds. The three women manage to find a wonderfully light-hearted style of topical performance that hits us especially hard when we find ourselves laughing about a political situation that is not at all funny.

The selection ranges from songs about menopause, the forthcoming five years of Conservative government to farming in Ireland and Instagram addiction as well as their most famous song ‘Cheap Flights’ analysing the efficiency of Easyjet. 

The show is noticeably aimed at men and women over 30 but can be enjoyed by younger people all the same. A few age-specific jokes may get lost on the way, but this does not have a big impact on the overall fulfilment the show delivers. It might even save you from the jaw pain from laughing too much. 

Keane, Anderson and Pulman create a wonderful performance in the space they are given and manage to keep the physical aspect of the show exciting by including a song about yoga, fittingly named ‘One True Religion’, a wonderful demonstration of Irish folk dance and experimental German theatre movement. A personal highlight is the ‘Bulgarian Song Cycle 2019’ which delivers comedy at its best – sung in harmony.  

Although the trio cover a lot of topics, the show stays particularly relevant to their performers all the way throughout. The themes of womanhood, being a woman over fifty and being British keep reappearing and can be seen as the central message of Fascinating Aïda whilst certainly not holding back on cheeky humour. 

Aside from the fact that the performance is well thought through, incredibly funny and the women are unapologetically pointing their fingers at the audience, it is also astonishing to see how much energy the performers bring onto the stage and how well they play off the audience, even at their combined age of 184. Fascinating Aïda is a wonderful night out for anyone over 30 and everybody who is looking to have a good laugh about life in the twenty-first century.

Fascinating Aïda is playing the Southbank Centre until 5 January. For more information and tickets visit the Southbank Centre website.