Dulled with the passage of time? The Tiger Lillies

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To the wonderfully atmospheric arts centre for the incredibly decadent Tiger Lillies.

I’ve been drawn to the Lillies for a number of years – its something about their innate theatricality, their nods to the work of Weill and that wonderful sense of grotesque cabaret. I first saw them at Aurora St Stephens in Edinburgh – and was almost beside myself with laughter especially at their closer – the wonderful ‘Banging in the Nails’.

A year later they were taking the world by storm in Shockheaded Peter – surely a perfect vehicle for them and a quite extraordinary theatrical experience. By that time I was desperate to book them (I was then at Leicester Phoenix) but they could demand a fee which was both way beyond my means – and my audience expectations.

A couple of years ago I saw them again in a new collection of songs at the Soho Theatre. Yes I enjoyed myself but I remember feeling deeply uncomfortable and compromised by several of the songs which unsympathetically dealt with dying by cancer. That freedom of speech – the naughtiness I so loved when I first saw them – was beginning to nag at my older self.

And so to Colchester for a set which liberally mixed new material with older songs. Yet again I enjoyed myself, and yes I found myself singing along but at the same time I was curiously bored – or at least not blown away. Maybe its the over familiarity with the material, maybe the older me finds the supposedly shocking material trite and a little silly (shit tourist for example) and maybe – just maybe – there is something of the One Trick Pony about them. And on the fourth time of viewing the gag was wearing thin?


One thought on “Dulled with the passage of time? The Tiger Lillies

  1. Pingback: The Tiger Lillies HAMLET « Matthew Linley’s Blog

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