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A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline review at Rose Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘heartfelt’

Gail Watson in A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline at Rose Theatre, Edinburgh Gail Watson in A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline at Rose Theatre, Edinburgh
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The life of country and western singer Patsy Cline is shot through with heartbreak. Morag Fullarton’s sketchy but heartfelt show was originally staged at Glasgow’s Oran Mor as an evening version of its Play, Pie and a Pint lunchtime shows and the mini bottle of wine you get with your ticket is a suitable complement to the often tragic onstage events.

Gail Watson excels as Cline, conveying her strength. She’s a fighter who is ready to go toe-to-toe with any male producers or songwriter who dares tell her what to do. She fights for her fellow performers too, and is happy to tell an audience that they will not perform until they have been paid.

Sandy Nelson and Hannah Jarrett-Scott provide musical backing on guitar and percussion as well as vocals – while also playing a selection of Cline’s friends, and characters from her life. But for the most part, this is a first-person monologue, told in a conspiratorial tone that engages the audience easily as she spins through Cline’s life from hit to hit.

Vocally, Watson doesn’t go for a straight impersonation – she doesn’t posses Cline’s rounded tones – instead she picks up on her phrasing and, above all, her ability to tell a story through a song.

On a minimally adorned set – old fashioned microphone out front and a dressing table to one side – Fraser Martin’s lighting creates all the atmosphere not generated by the music itself and Andy Cowan’s sound design gives an idea of the increasingly large venues Cline performed in as her popularity increased.

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Engaging and well-performed journey through Patsy Cline's life and work