THEATRE REVIEW: If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me starring Jane Horrocks

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Young Vic

WHEN: 11/3, press night 16/3, runs to 16/4

SETLIST: Anthrax (Gang Of Four); Atrocity Exhibition (Joy Division); Fiction Romance (Buzzcocks); Isolation (Joy Division); Nag Nag Nag (Cabaret Voltaire); What Do I Get (Buzzcocks); Empire State Human (The Human League); Hot On The Heels Of Love (Throbbing Gristle); My New House (The Fall); Memorabilia (Soft Cell); I Know It’s Over (The Smiths); Life Is A Pigsty (Morrissey); Temptation (New Order).

We loved Jane Horrocks in Little Voice and Absolutely Fabulous and when we discovered the premise of this show we were at the front of the queue to buy tickets.

Horrocks sings the favourite songs of her youth invariably sung by Northern groups and male-fronted. The presentation here includes an element of interpretive dance which doesn’t detract from the sense that this is very much reflecting the outlandish videos of the time.

The use of a giant electric plug makes for a particularly effective visual prop although we could have done without the continual reappearance of a fridge on coasters.

This hour-long show is generally quite traditional with Horrocks proving herself most at home with an especially theatrical version of The Smiths’ moving I Know It’s Over towards the end of the set. The Damned drummer Rat Scabies is even part of the band.

Our problem with the evening is really only a minor quibble and that is that we don’t share Horrocks’ enthusiasm for much of the material and in the case of one of the songs we do like (Soft Cell’s Memorabilia) the very straight rock rendition of it robs it of much of its potency.

Vanity project? Quite possibly. And why not? Who wouldn’t want to do it if one had a voice like Horrocks’?

  • Tickets here. Picture by Johan Persson via Facebook courtesy Young Vic.
  • Enjoyed this preview? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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