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Melinda Hughes & Alison Limerick: Diva ll Diva at The Crazy Coqs | Review

Alison Limerick and Melinda Hughes - Photograph Steve Ullathorne & Silvia Cruz
Alison Limerick and Melinda Hughes – Photograph Steve Ullathorne & Silvia Cruz

Melinda Hughes has found her perfect onstage partner: the soul legend and Hackney gal Alison Limerick (Where Love Lives). Billed as Diva ll Diva they jam, dance and bounce lyrics off each other in a dazzling series of complementary and contrasting styles, genres and tempos.

In a whirlwind 90 minutes of duets and solos at the fabulous cabaret venue the Crazy Coqs, (surely the best such intimate space in London?), they contrast Hackney with Harrods, Kingston Jamaica with Kingston Surrey, the reggae of Bob Marley (their version of Jamming is electric), Bizet’s Carmen, Stevie Wonder’s “As” from his masterpiece Songs in the Key of Life, a Jamaican/English translation featuring Alison singing in Jamaican patois and Melinda translating into ‘West London made in Chelsea’ posh, spiced with Melinda’s trademark satirical songs (she performed the recently written “Take me up the Octave” an outrageously funny pastiche of Melinda auditioning for BGT) and Alison’s soulful Ballad ‘I’m Falling to Pieces’ is to die for.

As if this were not enough to inspire and enliven they are accompanied by the Miles Davis like brilliance of trumpeter Graeme Flowers and Jeremy Limb as a latter day Dudley Moore on piano offering gnomic one liners “there is only one Harrods, there is only one sick bag”. And last night we had the cowboy booted violinist Lizzie Ball making a brief but highly entertaining injection of Southern ‘you’ll’ foot stamping superfast violin virtuosity. What a night. Sold out and both audience and performers extremely reluctant to vacate the venue. To paraphrase Stevie Wonder, ‘I’ll be loving these two Divas until 8x8x8 is 4‘. If you get the chance to catch this unique, uplifting and utterly joyful show in the future, grab it.

4 stars

Review by John O’Brien

Alison Limerick, the voice behind the epic club anthem Where Love Lives, teams up with satirist Melinda Hughes as they return to Zedel after their sell-out success in March. They are joined by special guest Lizzie Ball.

Backed by a live band and special guest trumpeter Graeme Flowers, they will indulge in their mutual love for soul, jazz and swing. Expect ingenious musical twists and plenty of comical shenanigans.

Band line-up:
Jeremy Limb – MD & Piano
Robert Rickenberg -Double Bass
Graeme Flowers – Trumpet
Jamie Fisher – Drums

8th November 2019
Alison Limerick on mn2s.com


  • John OBrien

    JOHN O’BRIEN born in London in 1960 is a born and bred Londoner. His mother was an illiterate Irish traveller. His early years were spent in Ladbroke Grove. He was born at number 40 Lancaster Road. In 1967 the family was rehoused in Hackney. He attended Brooke House School for Boys in Clapton, - as did Lord Sugar. He became head boy and was the first person in his family to make it to university, gaining a place at Goldsmiths College in 1978. He took a degree in Sociology and a PGCE . From 1982 until 1993 he taught at schools in Hackney and Richmond. In 1984-85 he attended Bristol University where he gained a Diploma in Social Administration. From 1985 until 1989 he studied part-time in the evenings for a degree in English Literature at Birkbeck College. He stayed on at Birkbeck from 1990-1992 to study for an MA in Modern English Literature. He left teaching in 1993 and has worked as a tutor, researcher, writer and tour guide. He leads bespoke guided tours on London’s history, art , architecture and culture. He has attended numerous courses at Oxford University - Exeter College, Rewley House & Kellogg College. In London, he attends courses at Gresham College, The National Gallery, The British Museum, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, The British Academy and The Royal Society. Read the latest London theatre reviews by all reviewers.

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