"Exhilarating Diva in Red Chiffon"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 29/04/15

The award sinning Diva arrives in a red chiffon peignoir with an impossibly long train trimmed with feathers.

At first it doesn’t seem as a if she wants to sing – she’s just here to make scintillating conversation, to get to know her audience but then eventually, with the assistance of her accompanist Roddy Matthews, delivers one of their own compositions aptly entitled ‘Diva’ in which she reveals some of her life history in addition to a sample of her amazing penetrating and yet beautiful operatic vocal chords.

She dons a feathered headdress and hobby horse in order to do Pocohontus – Crazy horse in which she gets the audience to join in the absurd lyrics. But not only is she a mistress of the surrealistic – who else could anthropomorphise a peignoir? she is also a mistress of good humour and huggability. Her song Pimlico Belle tells us of her childhood in Pimlico before it became gentrified. But, she adds, it is still there

Fran Landesman, the great American poet and lyricist (All the Sad Young Men) speaks with a similar voice and Eve sings one of Landesman’s most poignant items ‘Scars’ tenderly bringing tears to the eyes.

Madame Bouffant is not ashamed to cry in public and many in her repertoire have a poignant feel to them along with a sense of self ridicule. Her emotions pour out from her and we know exactly how she is feeling at each moment. And her emotions change like the British weather. One minute she is breaking our hearts and seconds later we are falling about with laughter.

This is the mark of a great performer who has co starred with David Bowie , Phil Daniels, Alun Armstrong and Stanley Baxter. She started he cabaret career at The Blitz nightclub in 1980s where she met her guitarist Roddy Matthews with whom she had written many of her numbers.

Eve Ferret could be a great actress, a stand up comic, a lyricist, a jazz singer or an opera star – instead she is all in one go plus a humanity that is totally engaging.

She is going to play downstairs at the Koha restaurant (close by Leicester Square Station in St Martin’s Court) every two weeks. Her next set there is on Saturday 9th June.

Her next show at the Koha is on Saturday June 9th at 8 pm. It is a wonderfully entertaining and life enhancing event but don’t take my description as gospel - her publicist tells me ‘no two shows are ever the same’.

See Madame Bouffant – you’ll feel better for it!

ALINE WAITES

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