Seven Crazy Bitches

Holly Morgan sets out to establish the seven stages of woman inspired by Shakespeare. So certain is she in her defiance of the Bard that she’s dragged him onto the stage.

★★★
cabaret review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Seven Crazy Bitches
Published 10 Aug 2017

Entering the stage in full Madonna garb, tinfoil wrapped around halo, Holly Morgan lives up to her self-styled moniker, “Diva on a budget”. The Holy Virgin marks birth, as Morgan sets out to establish the seven stages of woman inspired by Shakespeare. So certain is she in her defiance of the Bard that she’s dragged him onto the stage (Morgan’s partner Tom Moores, trying on a broad Brummie accent). It’s a bold and engaging hour of “standing cabaret” and self-love, rich in singing if not a complex exploration of the themes within.

For every stage of woman there’s an anthem for Morgan to knock out of the park. Impersonations are exaggerated but impressive, parodying a range of styles from Britney to Shirley Bassey to Cher. Of course Morgan portrays Cher—she's far too legendary a diva to leave out—and Morgan does not disappoint.

Morgan and Moores share a delightfully catty dynamic on stage, enhancing the subtext of whether capable women are celebrated as such or dismissed as “crazy bitches”. The discourse is teased at but never fully addressed. Morgan’s points are clever and she gleefully subverts ideas of mansplaining, but there’s not enough time to get into the real meat of women portrayed in the public eye. The spotlight on Stevie Nicks comes frustratingly close but errs more on self-indulgence so Morgan can live a fantasy on stage. More power to her: this eighth diva is a joy to behold.