Lipman on song in comedy of note

The Journal

The Journal

Glorious! at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Saturday

Audiences at the Theatre Royal will be covering their ears this week as the world's worst singer comes to Newcastle.

Glorious! staring Maureen Lipman as the eccentric Florence Foster Jenkins, is a delectable comedy which charts the incredible rise to fame of the real life opera diva in 1940's New York, culminating in a sell-out performance at the legendary Carnegie Hall.

Florence was notorious for being able to pack theatres full of audiences desperate to hear her soprano voice - despite the fact that she couldn't hit a note.

She was the X Factor wannabe of her day, and her deluded notions of talent were supported by a close circle of equally flamboyant friends.

Despite her flaws, she endeared herself to audiences with her unique performance style and colourful vocal deliveries.

Lipman is both flawless and infectious in her portrayal of Florence and held an enraptured audience in the palm of her hand.

Her performance oozes with the qualities of passion, dedication and enthusiasm that outweighed by far her character's vocal shortcomings.

As Florence, Lipman reaffirms her status as one of Britain's finest and best-loved actresses, and is supported by a talented cast.

Particularly impressive performances come from William Oxborrow as the dry-humoured pianist, Janie Booth as foul-tempered Spanish maid Maria, and Josie Kidd as Dorothy.

Peter Quilter's well-paced script is brought to life by director Alan Strachan.

A delightful comedy, slickly produced and energetically performed - truly glorious.

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