WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE: Other Palace
WHEN: 21/4 runs to 6/5/18
‘I was nude on Broadway at 48,’ remembers this screen legend during a two-hour-plus show of songs and stories which reveal what an interesting character Kathleen Turner is
- Read on for reasons including why women’s health and meals on wheels is so important to Turner
Visitors to this intimate 312-seat venue will find that it’s the perfect fit for a show which finds its star at what we can only assume is her most candid.
During a remarkably entertaining evening my companion whispers into my ear that he thinks she is about to talk to him because Turner keeps making eye contact with him.
It’s this gift for making everyone in the venue feel as if they have a personal connection with the star turn which gives a sense of why Turner went on to enjoy considerable theatrical success after an iconic film career which saw her mastering genres including comedy, adventure and erotic thriller.
Turner has always had a trademark husky voice but but what is noticeable here is how low her bass/baritone is and how suited it is to the cabaret numbers she chooses to emphasise the anecdotes she is telling.
A highlight for us is On The Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady) which she chooses to embellish a story about how happy she felt when holding a then baby daughter in her arms.
Turner is backed by a three-piece band which has rearranged the songs that we hear and, although the interplay between stories and tunes must be well-rehearsed, it feels fresh.
It is the stories perhaps that give most sense of Turner’s depths. She talks with passion about her work for women’s health and it is the original song about it (perhaps called In This Town) which is most moving, giving a sense of the pressures on such services now in the US.
It is this sense of public service (her father worked in the US Foreign Service) that we weren’t expecting. She talks about her work to provide meals on wheels, to teach acting to university students and how giving back in this way fills her with a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
She talks about her links with London, how it fanned her love of theatre and embraced her in The Graduate. She had no plans to transfer it to Broadway until she received a script which described a character as still beautiful at 37.
‘I was nude on Broadway at 48,’ she remembers to roars of audience approval.
The standing ovation at the end of the evening was perhaps inevitable but just reward for an evening’s entertainment that was far more revealing than we could ever have hoped.