Poet and performer Jemima Foxtrot’s first Edinburgh show, Melody, transcends its surroundings. The clatter and noise-bleed from the bar above quickly fade away: there’s something cocooning about her material.
Structurally her show meanders, but intentionally so, like running water, light dappled. Foxtrot begins by describing a journey home from work through city streets, in which her surroundings begin to trigger memories; she detours and digresses, remembering lovers and losses. As she does so she switches nimbly between poetry and little snatches of song, familiar lyrics; it’s a little like the tuning of a radio, these shifts. She has a strong, rich singing voice and a distinctive performance style, a kind of chipmunk precision, a tip-toe quality. Her language is studded with memorable phrases, her writing is very bodily salty and summer-skinned, all fruit and flesh; she has an appealing way with assonance, a sly wit.
Occasionally her journey is interrupted – by the blare of a passing car, the crisp tones of Nigel Slater spilling from a window – and the integration of these little interjections into the piece could probably be developed further, but that aside this is a glittering show, a gem in every sense, a shining thing.
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