US singer and comedian Tori Scott makes her UK debut with her gloriously NSFW solo show Thirsty!, which showcases both her powerhouse voice and her talent for poor life choices.
It’s a heady, hilarious mix of showtunes and pop classics interspersed with tales of growing up in Texas and life in New York – all of which misadventures, she promises us, are ‘tragically true’. She regales us with stories of a childhood love of showbiz that saw her develop a lifelong affinity for gay men (Scott is a regular performer on the gay cabaret circuit), her youthful rebellions and adult romantic disasters. She is caustically candid on everything from how to react to a dick pic to how to choose (and name!) your vibrator.
Possessed of a personality as big as her voice, Scott is the mistress of the self-deprecating dry dirty joke, and has exquisite comic timing. The show rattles along like high heels on a city sidewalk, not pausing for breath and just expecting you to keep up. Like all New Yorkers, she doesn’t believe in dawdling.
The songs are chosen smartly and with care to illuminate, reinforce or ironically comment on each anecdote and Scott is ably supported by her band (including musical director Jesse Kissel). A talented singer, she is equally at home covering Prince and Miley Cyrus as she is belting out a number from Evita, and her Judy Garland covers are genuinely moving.
Though the show has been updated for its UK premiere with a smattering of English references (including a great Jeremy Corbyn joke), it would be easy to see this as re-treading old ground. The perils of living and loving in New York are by now as recognisable as its iconic skyline – anyone who has sat through an episode of Girls or Sex and The City will be familiar with the much-covered landscape of terrible men, outrageous sex stories, outspoken women and gay-best-friends. But Scott delivers it all with such charm, heart and humour that that it feels wonderfully fresh.