The melodious Trudy Carmichael is the hostess with the (funny) improvisational mostess!
📍theSpace @ Surgeons Hall – Haldane Theatre
📅 Aug 5-13, 15-27
🕖 Running time (approx.): 50 minutes
👥 Creator & Performer: Robin Rothman
🎬 Producers: Robin Rothman – TruSongstress Productions
💰 From £7
🎭 Wheelchair Accessible Venue, Wheelchair Accessible Toilet
Robin Rothman’s — interviewed here in the run-up — tuneful, larger than life alter-ego Trudy Carmichael holds court at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The Fringe isn’t lacking in Improv, Comedy, or Cabaret, but Trudy’s brand of Improv Comedy Cabaret is definitely something a little different. Now a USP is one thing, but entertaining an audience is quite another.
Fortunately Trudy knows here way around a show, her glamorous, sequined persona filling the room with a welcoming energy. The audience knows they’re in safe hands, and so when she works them for prompts, they provide happily. More conversational than ‘So whose line is it anyway’, Trudy dialogues with her crowd, tailoring the show to the bodies in the room. It’s witty, fun, and cleverly done.
No cabaret would work if the main act can’t sing, but Trudy certainly can. She has a versatile instrument, made for the jazzier end of the showtune repertoire, but comfortable spanning other genres. The songs she constructs aren’t 100% pre-prepared numbers squeezed into relevance, but her patter still gently guides the audience’s suggestions into her wheelhouse.
With accompanist, pianist Frank Spitznagel as John Thorn, she enjoys a perpetual musical conversation, his fingers dancing between keys, cords, and trills, oh, and genres too. Yes, the focus here is on making the audience laugh, and on finding a human connection, but the engine room is firing on all cylinders.
During the QR’s visit, Trudy trilled on the joys of a hot cup of tea, her night-owl tendencies, the kindness of Edinburghers, the humidity blowing up her hair, and more, including a very sweet tribute to the recently departed, Olivia Newton John. She finds plenty of laughs in her music (“I’m a lady of the wee hours…not the night“) but not so many that the music is compromised.
Of course, in improv, there’s simply no way to guarantee every gag, every song, or show will zing equally, and those outings where the stars align tend to rarity. Trudy has the chops to achieve perfection, buy a ticket now and you might just witness greatness.
(Image Credit: Sean Taylor)