Ali McGregor in DECADENCE

After seeing Ali McGregor in Decadence, I'm disappointed in myself that she's has flown under my radar for so long, given my love of both cabaret and modern songs being given a 1940s flavour. But while this show came close to the achievements of Scott Bradley's Postmodern Jukebox, I felt it tripped up in a few places.

Ali McGregor has fantastic stage presence. What I thought was going to be a serious show very quickly became light hearted and self-depreciating via McGregor's fantastic wit.

The absolute highlight was the boogie woogie Prodigy medley; as the kids say, "What the actual?". So far this season I've seen a naked woman painted as a skeleton, with UV paint dance under black-light. I saw a guy spinning fire nunchucks so fast that the flames turned to sparks. I saw someone eat two grilled corns at once. I've seen some amazing things. But this musical number was the most fan-fucking-tastic thing ever! It's an extra special thing to see people who were perhaps too busy being responsible adults when The Prodigy released The Fat of the Land dancing along to an opera singer crooning "Smack My Bitch Up". The 2017 Fringe isn't yet complete and I'm still going to call that medley my highlight of the whole festival, if not the year.

Unfortunately, there a few places where I felt it lacked that vital jazzy swag. In particular, many of the solos seemed rigid and overly rehearsed, which really took away from the performance. I would have liked to have felt it loosen up a bit. For me, this one element really took away from the overall feel of the show.

That being said, the three-piece band, lead by Sam Keevers, created a grand atmosphere in the Magic Mirror Spiegeltent, and damn McGregor can sing. I was especially delighted when her classical training came out in force during the Radiohead finale, demonstrating a voice that climbs and soars and fill the soul.

Unfortunately, she was here for one night only because, although I've mentioned some things I would have like to have seen done differently, I really enjoyed the show. Fingers cross it'll be back again next year for those of you who missed it.

★★★½