ABI ROBERTS: ANGLICHANKA
We are welcomed in, in Russian (!), by a hefty lady in a fur hat, though it’s a sunny day and it’s pretty hot in the packed upstairs room at the Brewhouse. What’s going on? But after some thumping music and more of the Russian lady chanting loudly along with it, she rips off the hat and admits that no, she’s Abi and she’s British. The show is then a riotous trip down memory lane as she recounts her experiences as a teenage student in Swansea University and the Moscow Conservatoire, where she learned how to be an opera singer at the insistence of her overbearing mum. What? Yes. It’s an action-packed story, involving lots of oddball Russian characters, how to sing American musicals in Russian; how to behave as a Russian comedy audience , oh, and even a military coup. Roberts is a feisty and ebullient performer and the story never flags in a roller-coaster ride of comedic skill that has its audience hooting along in English and in Russian right through to the suitably over-the-top Slavonic musical finale. A smart, funny, and highly original show. Spasiba bolshoi, Abi.
John Christopher Wood