REVIEW: A Touch Of Mrs Robinson, The Pheasantry ✭✭✭

Last Updated on 13th November 2015

A Touch Of Mrs Robinson at the Pheasantry
Photo: Zoe White

A Touch of Mrs Robinson
The Pheasantry
12th November
3 Stars

In the interests of transparency, I have a declaration to make about my night at A Touch of Mrs Robinson. My companion won the evening’s prize for best Mrs Robinson costume, a lovely bottle of champagne. I can assure loyal readers that this generous gift did not colour my judgment; indeed, I wish I could be as generous with my review.

This show is a cabaret night inspired by Mrs Robinson, the sultry heroine of the 1967 film The Graduate. Fiona Coffey has clearly thought deeply about the character and has created a playlist to match this unique personality. As well as these tunes, there are a few jokes, competitions and musings on the life and motivations of the character.

The script is often funny, with some clever quips and shrewd observations, especially around the perceived role of women in the 1960s. It’s fair to say it was a largely middle aged audience and they seemed to enjoy the theme of mid-life exploration (and why not!). However, the overall story arc seemed tenuous at times; more potted thoughts rather than any sort of narrative.

Coffey seemed a more natural presenter than cabaret artist; although it would have been nice to see her try and channel the character a bit more in her performance and delivery. To carry a full show you need an exceptional voice but she often felt dwarfed by her brilliant three-piece backing band.

This fantastic band meant that the most enjoyable numbers were often the up-tempo ones; I’m Not Like Everybody Else from the Kinks and Born to Be Wild from Steppenwolf. However, the songs generally needed more vocal energy and depth; this was especially apparent at the end when covering the famous Mrs Robinson from Simon & Garfunkel.

Despite these quibbles with the performance, The Pheasantry is certainly a beautiful venue; half pizza restaurant and half jazz bar. The atmosphere inside was brilliant (as was the pizza!) and I left thinking I’d love to come back at a later date for another performance.

I don’t know if A Touch of Mrs Robinson was trying to seduce me, but if it was, it didn’t quite work. Whilst being amusing in parts, it was musically rather flat. Whilst The Graduate superfans will certainly have fun, cabaret fans will see more interesting offerings elsewhere.

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