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Marian Pashley

Review AN EVENING WITHOUT KATE BUSH at the Museum of Comedy

An Evening Without Kate Bush This show celebrates the music and very unique talent of Kate Bush, but its narrative focus is on her fans. That is not to say that Sarah-Louise Young does not give a fantastic rendition of Kate.

At times when she was singing I was glad to be sitting as close as I was, so as to be able to see for myself that it really was Sarah-Louise, not a recording. As a performer she is one hundred and ten per cent committed to detail, her vocal styling and movements when giving us this tribute were very reminiscent of Kate Bush's slightly odd, and sometimes unsettlingly intense, music videos.

Sarah-Louise discussed Kate's dance style in a light hearted, yet never mocking, manner, as she gave her audience tips on how to replicate them, encouraging us to stand and participate several times during the show. I will never forget the move described as "the champagne cork" nor the valiant efforts of our host to turn two rather unwieldy audience members into her backing singers, to quite hilarious effect.

Please don't let this talk of audience participation put you off, Sarah -Louise has a gentleness of touch-quite literally- and an unusually perceptive read of people that means she knows who not to exhort into the spotlight. When she brought a young couple onto the stage to slow dance in an embrace, whilst she performed to the side of them, as a nod to the video for "Don't Give Up", it was a genuinely moving few minutes.

What was also very emotionally charged were the comments from real Kate Bush fans that were incorporated into the routine. 

Especially touching were the words from a young boy who, swimming against the stream of his peers, had discovered her music and was as mind-blown as any of the young fans of decades prior when they first experienced "Wuthering Heights".

This show is surprisingly powerful, even if you are not a die-hard fan of Kate Bush. It examines how very disparate a group of fans can be when their idol is as emotionally intelligent as she, and shows up also how she manages to unite them with her ability to give a voice to those who feel they are somewhat on the outside of the party.

I suspect that most of the audience left the show as now new-found, or re-confirmed, fans of Sarah-Louise Young.

I would recommend it be on your Edinburgh Festival "go to" list.