Last night I was in the Canal House to see Anna Morris playing Georgina Francis in her one woman show, It’s got to be perfect. This is a rehearsal for her super wedding, with Morris in character, wearing a wedding dress and walking around with champagne glass in hand. This is a rather nifty character based show, with Morris playing Francis as a super posh stuck up brat, who has only the most tenuous relationship with the everyday life of the population. Usually I find upper class high status acts grating – they raise every Northern working class heckle I possess and I sometimes find it hard to get past that and to just sit back and enjoy the show. However, in this case, the character was so well realised, yet so OTT that it was impossible not to warm to the performance.
This was a very interactive show and Morris spent a good third of the time chatting with the audience, subtly finding things out about them, which were later used for callbacks, before picking people to play roles such as chief bridesmaid, stand in groom, father of the bride and her madly jealous ex. A show like this can rise and fall upon the willingness of the audience to not only get involved, but also to buy into the concept and Morris sells it in such a way that only the most churlish could not be swept up by it all.
Whist the show is based around the wedding rehearsal, it is also very musical, which adds an extra element and also gives Morris a chance to rap and sing, which she does remarkably well. Any show that can feature the Imperial March, the John Williams theme from Superman and Meatloaf’s I would do anything for love, gets a thumbs up from me. Francis asked the loaded question of what won’t she do for love, which elicited the answer of ‘oral’ from a respectable looking lady on the front row, who upon being scolded by Francis for her temerity, protested that she was originally going to say anal, whereupon, Francis made her stand facing the wall in punishment. Whilst I suspect that this was the hoped for outcome of the question, it was splendidly done.
There were a lot of nice touches to this show, such as the props distributed around the audience, which were disdainfully confiscated, the use of marigolds to deal with a letter from the public and a powerfully delivered monologue. I enjoyed the contemporaneous touch of the ad-libbed lines about the Trump victory.
It was nice to see Elliott Bower being used as soundman and recipient of Francis’ scorn on short notice. He performed this role admirably, correcting her when she consistently insisted on calling him Eric, putting his fingers in his ears whilst she sang, making paper aeroplanes and miming into the off stage mic during songs. His choice of song for her to go up the aisle to was well chosen and raised a nice laugh from the room.
The last 5-10 minutes of this show contained a lot of twists and surprises and the ending was very satisfying. This is a lovely quirky show and is cracking fun for everyone. It’s a little gem.