Fringe 2017 Greenside Infirmary Street 17:15
The immediate entrance of Mrs Robinson gives an indication of what is to come as we see the mature seductress appear before us at this early 5:15 cocktail hour. The impression is that of a class act and after all performer Fiona Coffey gave up her international consulting business to pursue this life which she completely absorbs. With leopard print coat, slinky dress and hair tied up we recognise and appreciate the glamour of this production. Her charm will win over every red blooded male. Her band of two musicians, Michael Roulston, composer, arranger and keyboard player joins Jonathan Kitching on drums, effects and percussion are seasoned professionals. With just keyboards and percussion they create a big sound that compliments the lounge atmosphere. Their solo spots and characters slide seamlessly into the show and they could easily perform as a duo in more comedy music cabaret.
There is some audience participation in a submitted card supplied and a prize to be won from the selection daily. This all adds to the comedy and of course the songs? Expect Born To Be Wild, Everybody’s Talkin’ and Wives and Lovers, perhaps the most obvious to include as written by Burt Bacharach and championed by Jack Jones. Cliff Richard’s hit Lucky Lips becomes a cougar’s tease, You’re The Cream In My Coffee, a 1920’s song becomes very current, Step Inside Love has the seduction that Cilla Black never achieved and the movie song Mrs Robinson becomes the sing along to close the show.
I can see this as part of an extended show (and it probably is) and one with a life beyond the Fringe in lounges and small theatres wherever The Graduate movie is remembered. It must be 50 years since Dustin Hoffman’s debut as Ben and Anne Bancroft played the original Mrs Robinson but the impact of that movie remains fresh and results in sell out Fringe shows here and I can see this return next year.