All Hail Me

Bobbie Jean web
Bobbie Jean web

All Hail Me, is a cracking example of cabaret at it’s best, sharp, witty, politically loaded and side split-tingly funny. It follows the story of Henry the 8th, a king who by all accounts, makes the love life of Taylor Swift look like a case of “happy ever after” and yes her music does feature here, along with some of the most iconic numbers of recent years, all melded to the guise of creator, and performer Bobbie Jean Henning.

She has swag, and charisma in bucket loads, she gets the audience right in there, drawing them into this world, that borders somewhere between the past and the present. Let’s get this straight, Henry the 8th was a not a nice man, constantly seeking an heir the throne, he enjoyed a succession of wives,  a number of which ended up, with their head on the chopping block. So to have such a, dare it be said, ballsy woman breath life into a such misogynistic character is a joy to watch, and a concept that is not short on humorous antidotes.

Because All Hail Me, is not just the standard run of the mill historical expose or re-telling, but a performance that through subtle nuances blurs the lines of gender bringing into play delicate subject and conversation , while other elements successfully marry the here and now. Such craftsmanship helps this performance to connect with it’s audiences, and gives enough of a hook that in more sombre scenes a tear or two is shed. As much as you are as repelled by this character, he is bought to life in away that also draws you toward his magnetism . It’s indeed, rare that cabaret, an art form that in more recent times has become something more closely related to light hearted entertainment, can offer up such dynamism of the kind found here, and this is without question the mark of a great performer.

Musically the show is tight, and Bobbie Jean Henning posses one of the rare voices that renders you speechless, with its clarity, wisdom and soulful toning. The performance does not rely solely on the accompaniment of piano, also playing with recorded sounds and other instruments to its full advantage. Her vocal prowess only matched by the way in which she commands if not fills the room with her infectious energy, All Hail Me, probably uses the space better than any other performance presented at The Butterfly Club over the past year.

Not much more can be said about this performance, it’s simply brilliant, intelligent and commanding. A  must be see, it plays at The Butterfly Club till this Sunday; though hopefully this is not the last we have seen of Henry the 8th as envisaged by Bobby Jean Henning. Book your tickets here

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