07 August 2007

Mourning Glory

David Benson – Nothing But Pleasure, Potterow Pleasance Dome

Fringe regular Benson takes a nostalgic, but never sentimental, look back the events of the first week of September 1997. Like a meaningful-consequenceless Kennedy assassination, the week of public insanity, sorry mourning, following the death of Princess Diana is a real “where were you when…” moment. Ten years later Benson revives his “one year later” show from 1998 taking us through the events of the week and casting a withering eye over them all. His cabaret-lecture approach allows him to impersonate newsreaders, slack jawed gawkers, showbiz stars and royalty with predictably hilarious results. He picks up brilliantly on the absurdity of the media coverage, culminating in Richard Madeley asking a number of ill children to simply name their illnesses because it’s “what she would have wanted.”
Most commendably Benson does not shy away from reminding his audience that Diana had been persona non grata in the weeks immediately preceding her death and skewering the hypocracy of the media and some of the public for their near instantaneous u-turn in the early hours of the 31st of August. Complete with his now-customary singing interludes, Benson succeeds in taking the audience on an enthralling and comedic journey. David Benson – Nothing But Pleasure – the title says it all.

NTW : It seems the lovely old ladies who used to hand out David’s programmes have been forsaken for good, alas.

JTD : Barbara Cartland gets hot’n’heavy with Peter Sissons

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