Sister Mary’s Big Sunday Show featuring Norvil the Magician, Emma Ralston and Two Tongue Theatre at The Cockpit

This was a variety show like no other. Led by the hilarious Sister Mary (Tim McArthur), we were presented with three different acts, in between which we were entertained with songs and jokes from Sister Mary. We were invited by Two Tongue Theatre so they will be our main focus…

This French duo have created a short comical piece, ‘Twisted and Tongue Tied’ that they are taking to the Brighton and Paris Fringe. Entering dressed as men, they danced together and made lewd jokes and gestures before undressing to admit they were women exploring the nature of the gender pay gap in Hollywood. This was followed by a protest. Although containing a few funny moments, this piece seemed to fall between two stools, a protest and a performance. It didn’t really work for us and fell a bit flat. Neither did the bilingual performance seem to add anything dramatically.

Simple things like not being in time together when dancing brought this piece down further. Aside from this however, they showed great energy throughout the performance. However, ending the show tying each other to chairs and gagging themselves, was just outright protest. They might as well take it to the streets. In a performance space they couldn’t even take a bow and had to be released by Sister Mary. Maybe a bit more thought is needed about what they are trying to do, because for us, it didn’t work as entertainment and it didn’t work as protest.

As for the other acts, Norvil the Magician was great fun, with a collection of rare songs, and impressive magic tricks to go with his silky magician’s voice. The best trick for us was when he ripped up a newspaper several times to then pull it part one last time and it reappeared whole. He also swallowed a needle and had an audience member retrieve it.

Emma Ralston, a musical theatre performer sung three songs, one of which was a hysterical new piece by Rhiannon Hopkins who accompanied her on the piano. Emma performed with impressive vocal control and a natural element of theatricality, keeping us glued to her every note.

Highlight of the show – Sister Mary – definitely a good reason to head out to the Cockpit Theatre on a Sunday! Full of gags and entertainment.

WIGS (for Two Tongue Theatre) 2/5

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