I don’t remember how Jess Robinson got on my short list of shows to watch at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals. I don’t recall having seen her before; not in a teaser show, not TV or anywhere else. I wouldn’t normally stay up late(ish) for an impersonation gig. Maybe I felt I needed to take a risk and try a wild card.
I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed myself. Robinson’s talent is stunning.
This is a comedy, impersonation, musical show. Accompanied by the equally talented Kirsty Newton on keyboard and vocals, Jess Robinson transforms from one celebrity to another.
Impersonation is well and good. It helps that Jess is good at it. What’s better is that these are impersonations done in song – want some crazy Bjork hijinks? Mighty Voice is for you.
Mighty Voice is a standout act. It stands out because Robinson, with Newton’s support, is able to do on the spot mashups. One “wheel of fortune” prop has a range of celebrities and another has a collection of famous songs. My favourite of the night was Lilly Allen sings Ace of Spades. You don’t get the whole song. You get enough to see that no matter how challenging the mashup that Robinson can do it and she can it well.
There’s a mix of the random mashups and the planned numbers. It’s not just the headliner who can sing very well; the flame-haired Kirsty Newton escapes from behind the keyboard to partake in a song or two. I hope the partnership lasts. The duo treats the audience to the sort of compilation that tend to go viral on YouTube. They’ll sing (and play; live music) through different voices performing familiar songs, they’ll merge the songs together so you’ll struggle to tell when one becomes another.
There’s only two notes of warning – that’s the venue. This is in the Pleasance (or Potterrow if you’re a local) and in the Ace Dome. It’s a comfortable venue, perfect for music and the seats are padded. It compares favourably to the likes of The Famous Spiegeltent, for example. It does get hot. It’s packed with lights. Mighty Voice will start to fill every seat. Take your jackets off when you sit down. Bring a bottle of water.
The other warning? Audience involvement. It could happen to you.
Overall? Mighty Voice is worth the risk. Give the show a go.