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)
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
Arts & Ents blogs
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Syd Barrett's inner visions
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Simon Cowell 'feels like an idiot' after Jules and Matisse scandal
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers