All I want is one night
In the heady atmosphere of 1930s Paris, Suzy Solidor thrilled audiences with her performances of erotic lesbian songs. Painted or photographed by everybody from Man Ray to Bacon, she sang, surrounded by her 225 portraits. This intimate show will transport you back to a night in her club at the height of her career. During an increasingly whisky-fuelled evening, as Suzy regales the audience with her most famous songs, her past and present begin to collide: she encounters lovers, artists, her absent father, and finally herself.
The second part of our Tuesday night double bill at Hope Mill Theatre was very different from the first. In stark contrast to “The Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana”, Sarah Frankcom’s “All I Want Is One Night” is a fantastically filthy performance with phenomenal vocals from Jessica Walker. It tells a story of hedonism, vanity and heart-break and all the while keeps you laughing with Walker’s perfect comedic timing and shameless innuendoes.
The audience is seated at small tables, as we would be in her precious club, La Vie Parisienne, However we first meet Solidor snoozing in her antiques store, later in life. As the story progresses, the space is used fantastically with characters moving amongst the audience and making us long for that intimate cabaret that we millennials have only seen in films. We even got a personal serenading during the performance which made it extra special and made us truly appreciate the strength of Walker’s voice. The performance takes us through Salador’s jumbled recollections of her fame and universal adoration, to her fall from favour, and finally her exile to the French Riviera.
Interestingly, in an interview prior to the show, Walker remarked on the similar experience of aging that women in the public eye face today. It is, however, true that few modern women use Salador’s coping method. Upon discovering that middle-age had somehow made her less desirable, she resorts to cross dressing and demanding that her maid address her as “Admiral”. Walker commented in her interview that she was considering doing the same- we think it’s a genius idea!
After a sell-out world premiere at the Royal Exchange, and straight from a London run at Wilton’s, ALL I WANT IS ONE NIGHT comes to HOPE MILL for 9 performances only.
Running time 1hr 10 mins without an interval.
By Kate Keating for Canal St Online