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You write the reviews: The Tiger Lillies, New Players Theatre, London

A high operatic note breaks the hush of the theatre in perfect pitch, only to be broken itself by a barrage of crude raspberry noises. The Tiger Lillies are back in London, with a vengeance.

http://www.independent.co.uk/

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

A

high operatic note breaks the hush of the theatre in perfect pitch,

only to be broken itself by a barrage of crude raspberry noises. The

Tiger Lillies are back in London, with a vengeance.

The show

they've brought here for a three-week run is called Seven Deadly Sins.

Based on the Hieronymus Bosch painting, it's a twisting musical

pilgrimage through all the fun things you're not supposed to do if you

want to avoid going to Hell, though one can't help but suspect that it

may be far too late for the band themselves. It's told through a story

charting the wicked descent of the puppets Punch and Jude, with each

sin they commit punctuated by a new song from the Tiger Lillies, along

with a few from their vaults that those who have followed them through

theirdebauched depravity will relish. Even if you've heard their songs

before, watching them being performed adds a sumptuous, visual

dimension, a cavalcade of theatrics, spontaneity, showmanship and

humour that will draw you into their underground world of sin. It will

make you feel gleefully evil. And you'll want to see them again.

Seven

Deadly Sins is billed as a punk cabaret, probably because

"Brechtian-style cabaret with punk lyrics and uncomfortably twisted

Gypsy themes played on folk instruments" doesn't look as good on the

posters. Basically, if you were on a fairground carousel in Satan's

back garden, it's the kind of music you would hear as you go nervously

round.

The painted ringleader, Martyn Jacques, writes all of the

band's songs, and plays the accordion, ukulele and piano to boot. His

tremendous vocal range and powerful operatic voice are peerless, and he

uses them to their full extent during the show as his expressiveness

takes the audience from the addictive "Heroin and Cocaine" to the

infectious "Anger", and from the melancholy of "Life Is Mean" to the

guilty laughter provoked by "Kick a Baby".

Adrian Huge on drums

and percussion, and Adrian Stout on contra bass, musical saw and

theremin, both weave in their own prolific talents to complete the

itinerant musical trio, while the vaudevillian puppeteer Nathan Evans

and the fire-eating burlesque dancer Ophelia Bitz provide links between

the songs.

The result is a show that's unique, unapologetically

offensive, raucously funny and full of music that you'll immediately

want to inflict on all your friends and family, whether they like it or

not. And, of course, the Tiger Lillies will always be happy to give you

an excuse to sin.

To 26 Apr (08704 296 883)

Belinda Wilson, Airline supervisor, London

 

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