You can’t say the Whingers aren’t taking risks on the Fringe.
Bobby Crush in Liberace: Live From Heaven (the place people supposedly go after death, not the 80s nightclub you understand), now you really wouldn’t have expected us to take a punt on that now would you?
Well the clues in the title. Liberace is poised at the gates of heaven and has to convince St Peter (voiced by Stephen Fry) and God (voiced by Victoria Wood) why he should be admitted through the Pearly Gates or take the elevator to hell. And then we the audience ultimately vote to seal his fate.
But the big mystery for the Whingers was why a party of about 10 people walked out 15 minutes into the show. Didn’t they know what they were coming to? L:LFH does exactly what it says on the tin.
We get a potted biography as he takes us through his life, arguing his case and of course plenty of delightful piano playing from Crush’s Liberace and that’s when the show is at its best. Crush has the twinkling mannerisms down to a “T” and they’re hilarious to watch even if he did remind Phil of a brunette Pat Butcher (now Pat Evans previously Harris, Beale and Wicks) at times.
But the highlight comes towards the end when he plays a medley of six songs which Crush invites his audience to shout out.
This should have been the Whingers’ moment, but our minds went even blanker than usual. All Phil could think of was “Jesus Christ Superstar” without realising how appropriate that would have been.
The show is good fun but at 75 minutes it is rather overextended on what is, after all, something of a chestnut of a device.
For the record we voted Liberace into heaven.