Jenny Bede The Musical

As two young women, one in a Minnie Mouse t-shirt, the other all in black, take their seats beside me at Just the Tonic’s The Mash House for ‘Jenny Bede The Musical’, I think it’s fair to take a guess at who present was the punter…

Jenny Bede’s performance, however, is not so predictable. Leave your preconceptions about those who dabble in Musical Theatre at the door, if you’re so archaically inclined. Don’t get me wrong, walking into the venue to the soundtrack of ‘The Greatest Showman’ certainly struck trepidation into my heart, but Bede is exceedingly self aware in her craftsmanship. You’re in safe hands with her – MT fan or otherwise.A classically trained Musical Theatre performer, she’s certainly got the voice and poise to prove it. Her opening number ‘Look at my Range!’ tells us of all the roles she’s landed after graduating from The Royal Academy of Music. Who needs Spotlight, aye? Glamorous archetypes, receptionists, girlfriends – she’s done the gambit.

This show is Bede’s attempt at exhibiting her composing talents for the one and only, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who happens to be in the audience. Well, sort of…Ten songs peppered neatly into a stand-up routine – which boasts an impressive narrative independent of any tuneful accompaniment – showcase Bede’s blatant innate gift for storytelling.Exploring themes such as gender, privilege, education and class, this isn’t the airy-fairy take on the industry one might expect.Friendly, welcoming and refreshingly inclusive, pop along to the show for a laugh, a boogie and a wickedly funny surprise at the end.

A capable and current comedian.

★★★★

Leila Navabi

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