Liz at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
What the blurb says about Liz: In a Tudor world, Liz – young, sassy, supposed virgin and the Queen of England – cannot stand the drawbacks of sitting on the throne as a woman; her overbearing councillors ignore her forward-thinking policies and constantly attempt to marry her off to boring and unappealing suitors. However, when she finally takes decisions into her own hands and rejects King Philip of Spain’s proposal of marriage, he declares war and assembles the largest fleet in history: The Spanish Armada. With her people furious and invasion imminent, how will Liz regain her people’s trust and save her country?
The blurb makes the show sound fresh and even verging on a show with a potential feminist edge however this could not be further from the truth. The show focuses on the fact that Liz is clearly a woman and uses this to make cheap jokes about menstruation and how inferior women are. Whilst I think this is supposed to be done with a firm tongue in the cheek the script is not clever enough to deliver this and instead leaves you feeling offended. It is not just women that the cast take pot shots at, there are racist, homophobic and anti-semitic moments within the show, making me wonder how the writer thought it was a good idea to offend so many minorities in the space of an hour.
The songs in the show are weak with no overarching style or theme to them and I would struggle to hum any of the tunes. One of the numbers relies solely on swearing to try to get laughts out of the audience, however repeated use of c**t in a show, for little or no purpose fails not only to get a laugh but also doesn’t drive the plot forward at all.
The cast all perform with enthusiasm however with weak source material, even the most talented of the cast do not get a chance to shine. Several of them have adequate voices however frequently the songs do not sit within their range and none of the characters have any depth so their acting ability is never put to the test.
With such a promising blurb for Liz I left disappointed. Instead of a piece of theatre based in ‘girl power’ with an interesting twist on this historic story I got a musical which misguidedly rather than maliciously, offends rather than inspires.
To find out more about Liz, visit their page on the Edinburgh Fringe website. Liz is playing at the Edinburgh Festival until 25th August at The Space on North Bridge, Argyll Theatre (venue 36). It is on from 21:05 – 22:05.