Sunday, 22 February 2015
Claire Platt's How Did It Come To This, Pheasantry
Last night I went to see Claire Platt performing her fairly new cabaret show at The Pheasantry on the King's Road. How Did It Come To This is a funny, dry, sideways glance at Claire's life and career as a soprano and latterly a voice teacher. My scant experience of cabaret across London is that the nature of such shows are often dictated by the relative proportion of chat and songs. Well, Claire speaks with great confidence and entertaining self-awareness from the very top but it is the profusion of songs and her singing which really do the talking for her. There is no abject approach to using a clear vocal technique in a cabaret situation, no hiding behind adopted styles - or the mic, for that matter, which may be idiomatically appropriate for the gig but wouldn't be necessary for clarity. Unaffected Novello-crisp English is subverted for a patter song about being Northern and Claire is not afraid of slipping into belt where the song needs it. It's a genial evening that deals lightly with the shadow of hindsight that can weigh down similar self-sourced show material. It's also a very clean show - I would have welcomed more of the risqué material that's occasionally slipped in with an allusive sleight of hand.
I strongly recommend that anyone interested in investigating cabaret should look for Claire's next date as this is a remarkably polished evening's entertainment. Claire was supported at the piano by Simona Budd.