Bats’ Propeller Stage reveals a small set centre stage, with a couch, rug, toys and other mess, giving a comfy homey feel. Emms casually wanders onto stage in ug-boots, holding a mug, and comically addresses the audience like a friend, “Are you sure you don’t want one?” The audience sinks into the comfortable, intimate and light-hearted mood established for us.
Georgia Jamieson Emms describes her Julie Andrews obsession, aided by funny childhood photos, and finds parallels with Andrews’ life which she also recounts. The script, written by her sister Francesca Emms, is interspersed with ingenious song lead-ins right from the initial, “But where does this obsession come from?... Let’s start from the very beginning…”. There is a mixture of hits and lesser known numbers, but there are at least five sing-alongs with projected lyrics, including the opening and an equally hilarious reprise of “Do-Re-Mi”. This time the song is used to demonstrate her bossy 10-year-old directing of home-made productions, where she instead instructs the audience. Georgia Jamieson Emms’ and director Adam Macaulay find a perfect balance of comic timing, expressions and/or gesturing in both songs and monologues. Emms’ fandom obsessiveness also comically increases throughout the show.
Hugh McMillan sensitively accompanies all numbers on a keyboard off to the right. The LED lighting (Michael Trigg) also effectively enhances the character of each musical number. The projections of the The Sound of Music mountain range, photos, and lyrics look a little odd only covering the top left corner of the screen backdrop. However, the placement must be for practical reasons such as allowing Emms to easily refer to it.
An hysterical WWJD (What would Julie do?) joke eventually reveals itself, inspiring many follow-on Julie jokes and songs. I would hate to spoil them all here, but I will say the lead in to the “My Favourite Things” finale is a real treat. These are a Few of my Favourite Sings runs till 17 December. If you like Julie Andrews or any of her songs you will be sure to adore this sweet non-Chrismassy Christmas delight. And be sure to dress up!