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EDINBURGH 2014- BWW Reviews: THE VELMA CELLI SHOW, Assembly Checkpoint, August 22 2014

Following a three-week run with Christina Bianco in Divallusion, Velma Celli brings a stripped-back version of her Hippodrome show to the Edinburgh Fringe.

I've found quality musical theatre to be a little thin on the ground this Fringe so thank goodness for Velma Celli. While technically a drag cabaret show it seems like it would be downplaying the show to call it that. Opening with an ambitious rendition of Diamonds Are Forever leading into Rihanna's Diamonds, all eyes are on Celli from the moment she struts into the audience.

The setlist was a mix of classic songs, musical theatre and pop which was perfect for me. Highlights included Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited", Scott Alan's "Neverland" and I will always be completely won over with any Cher song. This is unlike any cabaret show I've seen- the quality of the vocal performance is incredibly high. Velma Celli has the ability to give me goosebumps on some of the slower numbers, particularly RENT's "No Day But Today" and give substance to a Jessie J song. Which is not an easy feat.

There is a lot of fun to be had aside from the musical performances. Velma Celli is a natural with audience interaction and arranged a raffle which didn't quite go to plan as the wrong tickets had been issued. It could have gone horribly wrong but the audience seemed to be on side and not too concerned with the mix up.

Not content with just one excellent cabaret singer onstage, Lady Rizo appeared as Velma's guest star. After a quick fire question round we were treated to a very special duet. The time absolutely flew by at the Velma Celli show and I'd say her debut solo Scottish show was a roaring success.

The Velma Celli Show runs at Assembly Checkpoint until August 24th.

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From This Author Natalie O'Donoghue

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