Cautionary Tales for Daughters, Jermyn Street Theatre – Review

four-stars

ctfd-jermyn-street-main-page-new-277x300A labour of love from seasoned songwriter Tanya Holt, Cautionary Tales for Daughters – Songs Your Mother Never Taught You are a collection of sonss offering sage advice to her 11-year-old daughter Dotty. Accompanied by Birgitta ‘Fred’ Kenyon on keyboards, the duo perform the satirical collection of compositions in a relaxed, warm fashion.

The songs can be broadly divided into the ‘don’ts’ that people shouldn’t do themselves and the external ‘dangers’ in relationships and life in general. More of the latter took place in the second half of the evening and while the lighter stuff was fun to listen to, the ‘less comfortable’ subjects were more satisfying in the long run.

Subjects such as tattoos and ‘the grass is greener’ attitude to relationships gently open the evening, while one particular song about gender stereotyping is especially poignant and welcome.

Touching on the subjects of women’s relationship with food and the sort of men to avoid brings added grit to the proceedings, while even the generational notion of brands is wryly introduced, as age and taste versus consumerism are highlighted.

Underpining all these songs are illustrative pieces of animation and anecdotal tales – some are Holt’s own, while others are from friends or contributions from previous audiences. As such, the show is constantly evolving, so chances are Cautionary Tales will have significant differences for each performance.

Concluding with a Hugh Laurie-inspired song about ‘carpe diem’, Cautionary Tales delivers a broad selection of melodies that are distinctive and intelligently crafted.

© Michael Davis 2017

Cautionary Tales runs at Jermyn Street Theatre, London until 11th February 2017.
http://www.cautionarytalesfordaughters.co.uk/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s