12 September 2011

Kit and the Widow, Snape Proms

By Rachel Sloane


Kit and the Widow at Snape Proms Friday 5 August 2011 

“Rather rude but very funny” is probably the best description of the music and chat that comprises an evening with the outrageously camp, Kit and the Widow.


Fresh from their nationwide tour of “Cowardy Custard” and just before they appear at the first Comedy Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Kit Hesketh-Harvey (vocals) and Richard Sisson (piano) had the capacity audience at Snape Maltings laughing from their first moments on stage with their caustic, witty references to Ipswich, the Snape Proms programme and the opening number – about  the “joys” of eating at a Nando’s restaurant, sung to the tune of Abba’s “Fernando”.


This was my introduction to Kit and the Widow and what I discovered was that musically they are Grade A performers, whether singing opera or pop, they will happily be rather rude about anything and, with their impeccable diction, you will catch every word they sing.


The concert was subtitled “Noel Coward and his music” and for a section of the first half of the concert Kit and the Widow were joined by Savanna Stephens and Andrian Grove. Together they performed songs such as I’ll See You Again,  Don’t Put your Daughter on the Stage, The Stately Homes of England, Has Anybody Seen our Ship…..but, although the Coward numbers were very well-performed, we had had a taste of something else – and that was what the majority of the audience really wanted to hear:  the disrespectful versions of well known songs.  


We laughed at songs about being a Liberal Democrat, about forgetful goldfish swimming around a bowl, speed awareness courses, Pilates (“the new PE for suburban smarties”), white van man and the amazing similarity between the music of famous composers and the hit tunes of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber!  We also happily (with the help of cue cards) joined in the chorus to a re-written “Oh Sole Mio”, including lines about Silvio Berlusconi  and Viagra in Cornetto!


My favourite numbers of the night first showed the hidden sensitively of Kit and the Widow – and then their bravery. The former was a beautiful thought-provoking ballad about a swan dying surrounded by humans’ accumulated rubbish (no jokes there, of course) and then their encore was a VERY funny song about performing Shakespeare at Aldeburgh (“I am giving my Bottom at Aldeburgh”) sung Peter Pears high-tenor-style in a Benjamin Britten parody  – a brave choice at the concert hall the couple inspired and the home of the  famous Aldeburgh Festival. Luckily the joke was much appreciated by the audience. 


I haven’t stopped chuckling as I have been remembering the evening with Kit and the Widow – an evening you could summarise as “naughty but very, very nice”.  


(This review also appears onhttp://www.onesuffolk.net/home/previews-and-reviews/reviews