Just when I think I’ve seen it all, along comes Tracey Collins with her new show Shell Suit Cher: Believe In Bingo. And it does what it says on the tin. It’s Cher, dressed in a shell suit, and we play bingo. The show is as simple and as complicated as that.
Some of Cher’s more famous tunes get a makeover, with songs like Walkin’ In Memphis being sung by Collins as “I bought this shell suit in Memphis”. On the face of it, though, Collins-as-Cher has her work cut out to entertain us for an hour and a half armed with only a soundtrack of her favourite songs and two rounds of bingo (with prizes for a line, two lines and a full house).
Prizes include a teapot gifted to Cher by Madonna, tickets to the forthcoming touring production of The Book Of Mormon here at Wales Millennium Centre, and a bright pink shower curtain. All very random, but all delivered with charm by Collins, who at times looks like she’s having more fun than the audience.
How, I don’t know, but this show just works, hilarious in its randomness and chaotic staging. Here is a performer who, despite sauntering around the stage and auditorium like a drunk diva, is in complete control despite balls being dropped from a breaking-down bingo machine, costume malfunctions and a sound technician who doesn’t know whether turn the music up or down, off or on, previous track or next one.
The whole thing is utterly bonkers and the audience, and I, loved it: one of those shows where the review can say all it needs to in a short space.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Fri 20 Aug
words JAMIE REES
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