Given the absence of a picture byline, you will be ignorant of the fact that your esteemed critic is currently sporting a Byronic barnet which more than brushes my shoulders. That my current coiffure is generating a not inconsiderable amount of office gossip is not something I would normally burden you with, but for the happy coincidence of the latest endeavour from Jackie Clune.
She it was who last thrilled theatregoers with the outstanding Showstopper. Unbeknownst to many, la Clune is a closet academic with an MPhil in Flickology, which as any fool knows, is the study of what happened to hair in the Seventies, the hey- day of Braun styling kits. After months of painstaking research fingering the British Library's private case collection of Jackie, Disco 45 and Fab 208, Jackie has turned her pioneering findings into Chicks with Flicks, a tribute to Seventies hair (and song) stylists Kelly Marie, Tina Charles and the Nolan Sisters to name but seven.
Some people described its barnstorming run at the Edinburgh Festival as "prime wit and undisputed superior entertainment" but I see it as a socio-political lecture demonstration with virtual reality audio-visual aids (and hairspray). Stern bluestocking Clune's unremittingly scholastic eye doesn't miss a trick in her vital analysis of the vocal and tonsorial talents of such Carmen rock'n'rollers as Abba's Agnetha with her twin simple gathered bivalent summits, the classic fountainhead flick of Bonnie Tyler or the perpendicular side tracery of Marie Osmond complete with aspirational curl.
I can exclusively reveal that during our extended co-counselling session, Jackie has recovered memories of her parents buying a secondhand pressure cooker from Stephanie de Sykes who shot to, er, fame singly (smugly) that "I Was Born with a Smile on My Face", while tossing her hair flicks to the camera. And lo! A show was born.
Jackie's childhood was deprived, nay, traumatised by a lack of curling tongs. Secretly, she lusted after her mother's portable hairdrying hood. For those unlucky enough not to have sampled the delights of same, this Seventies domestic miracle consisted of a shoulder-slung dryer which blew hot air down a pipe into an elasticated hood which mushroomed around your head, like a hoover in reverse. It joined the hostess trolley as positively the last word in style.
If anyone still has one of these prized items hidden away, write to me immediately as Jackie craves one. Everyone else, rush to her splendidly silly show.
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