New Town Theatre
Edinburgh 2013: Sadie & the Hotheads - Elizabeth McGovern's musical turn is a far cry from Lady Cora
Monday 19 August 2013
“We try to be cool,” Elizabeth McGovern tells us with the languid sigh so beloved of jazz bar crooners the world over, “but I haven't been up this late in 30 years.”
The actress and singer is better-known in the former role, chiefly as Cora, Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey and memorably opposite Robert De Niro in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, but this musical project has the air of a real labour of love.
A selection of country and lounge-toned ballads and quirkily upbeat numbers, it’s at once a delightfully relaxing show and maybe a bit too somnambulant for the near-midnight hour at which it’s been programmed. Her five-piece band are all excellent and McGovern’s own naturally delicate tones are unselfishly bolstered by the presence of a backing singer who hits the more resounding power notes.
She tries on different styles like dresses, from the jokily flirty country of "One Thing Leads to Another" to the Irish mandolin and tin whistle balladry of love song "All the Time" (affectionately dedicated to her husband, the British director Simon Curtis) and the upbeat and danceable "How Not to Lose Things". She is an engaging singer and a songwriter of distinctive ability ("My Debt Collector" is a love song for a bailiff: “The attention I get from you's the most I've ever had”), and for the most part she avoids the actor-turned-singer’s trap of confusing which type of performance she is giving.
To 25 August (0131 220 0143)
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 4 The most powerful passports in the world
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove