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Melody

Jemima Foxtrot performs Melody at Clerk's Bar Jemima Foxtrot performs Melody at Clerk's Bar

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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Verdict
A rich mixture of poetry and song
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