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EDINBURGH FRINGE: Don't Tell Me Not to Fly with Janie Dee at the Underbelly Bristo Square

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 7th Aug 2018 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

Janie Dee may have flown from Edinburgh but her Fringe debut was such that you will want to book to see her next year!

Don’t Tell Me Not to Fly showcases four of the West End’s leading ladies, and for lesser performers it would be like skydiving without a parachute.

The format is unusual: quirky cartoon-like figures appear on a back projection as a disembodied voice asks a series of personal questions which each star has to answer and then end with an appropriate song.

For Janie’s fans, some of whom had travelled specially from London and Glasgow after seeing her in Follies at the National Theatre, it was a treat to get to know her as she recalled the first time she nearly made her stage debut at the age of seven; a heartwarming story about the recently deceased Gillian Lynne who gave her her first part in Cabaret (obviously a cue for that song); her passion for the planet, animal and human rights, and a charming tale of the consequences of when, as she prepared to entertain the Queen at her Golden Jubilee, her daughter asked her to give Her Majesty 10 raffle tickets.

This part of the show showed Janie as herself: warm, generous, funny, and not an ounce of ego associated with such an accomplished performer. But star quality she has in spades and when she began to sing her talents came to the fore. As an award-winning actress, each song was a complete story with her soaring voice adding drama to the number. She had us in stitches with her Ayckbourn song Copytype, emotional with Children Will Listen from Sondheim’s Into the Woods; joyous with Gershwin’s Shall We Dance and thoughtful with Colour in My Cheeks from new composer Tim Connor.

Her show ended with a rousing Don’t Rain on My Parade - it wouldn’t dare. There’s only sunshine when Janie Dee’s around!

Don’t Tell Me Not to Fly is at the Underbelly, Bristo Square daily at 5pm, and following on from Janie Dee are:

Claire Sweeney (Aug 7-13); Danielle Hope (Aug 14-20) and Ria Jones (Aug 21-27).

 

Box Office: 0131 510 0395 www.underbellyedinburgh.co.uk

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