Deliciously dark Jewish humour in Candy Gigi’s prop-led Fringe pop-up
It was a Friday night and as I wasn't going to a Friday night dinner, so what better way to spend it than by going to Candy Gigi's mock-horror musical Friday Night Sinner!?
The eerily lit action loosely follows the plot of Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, with Gigi – aka 30-year-old Brit Candy Markham – swapping Borehamwood for Hollywood. Here the faded movie star dreaming of a return to the screen has been transmogrified into a sexually repressed newly married Orthodox Jewish housewife lusting to break free from the stifling expectations of being a baby-producing machine to become the star of the 'hood, then the world.
With props that include a talking vagina, an onion, challah, Mrs Elswood Haimisha Cucumbers, fake breasts, a piratical blue menorah hat, water pistols and shaving foam, plus a can of chicken soup, the show is a bubbling kosher cauldron of the slapstick and the surreal, spiced with lashings of black Jewish humour.
Gigi, a former pupil of King Solomon high school and a musical theatre graduate from north London's Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, has a powerful voice, a great vocal range and takes a devilish delight in flaying north-west London Jewish stereotypes. Her previous Edinburgh shows include the riotous Becky Rimmer's Bat Mitzvah! and If I Had a Rich Man, and while FNS is as wildly inventive as ever, the show does occasionally pall, leading one to wonder whether marriage has assuaged her inner turmoil.
She is accompanied on stage by the po-faced, black-suited Jordan Clarke on electronic piano. A recent graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, the 23-year-old plays her put-upon husband David, as well as having produced the music and lyrics for amusing songs that include 'Finish off What Hitler Started' and 'Fuck Being Ordinary'. Not one for the prudish.
By Lee Levitt
Friday Night Sinner! runs until Sunday 25 August (exc. 12 & 20 Aug). 8.35pm. £7, £6.50 disabled. Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR. www.edfringe.com