La La Shockette is the alter ego of actress Lowri-Ann Richards and it derives from her involvement in the glamorous New Romantic Band ‘Shock’ in the nineteen eighties. She also had a couple of top ten hits in another band ‘Tight Fit’. Sadly the New Romantics were completely wiped out when ‘Grunge’ appeared on the pop scene.
In her mixed media solo show, she explores her rock’n’roll life with enormous humour and without sparing any of the details as pictures of her lovers and her past indiscretions flash up on the screen. . This is a totally revealing production and she tells us the facts of her life with satire and honesty.
She enters as a dominatrix dressed from head to foot in black leather singing a song in her native Welsh. She starts to remove her leathers, revealing a bustier and like a stripper gram she attacks a man in the front row and gets the audience to sing Happy Birthday to him. This sets up the outrageous atmosphere of her show perfectly.
Lowri-Ann is a female clown with an expressive face and exceptional singing voice and she makes the most of her comedy – although occasionally one would like her to drop the comic edge and give us the benefit of her beautiful voice. Her first act concentrates on songs from the eighties including David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ (Better not mess with Major Tom). ‘One way or another’ she sings with passion ‘I’m gonna find you’ she says flashing a searchlight around the audience. One of the most effective items is ‘Wuthering heights’ by Kate Bush which she sings very beautifully but cannot resist injecting little jokes along the way.
She closes her first act with a dramatic rendering of ‘Cocaine Lil’ making no secret of the fact that she herself was addicted to Cocaine and spent time in Rehab
In the second act she drifts away from the eighties into Noel Coward, Rodgers and Hart and English music hall. She tells us that after rehab she gave up theatrical lovers in favour of an obsession with celebrity chefs – and she sings ‘Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered’ to a picture of Delia Smith. Probably my favourite quote is her take on ‘People who need people are the Yuckiest people in the world’.
Also in Act two she mentions Danny La Rue who she worked with and who gave her the sequin dress she is wearing. He asked her to sing at his funeral ‘Pie Jesu’ which she repeats in her act. Again I would be happier if she sang it seriously in a single spot because her singing is really outstanding.
Near the end of her set she gives up the stage to her talented daughter Daisy Bell who sings very sweetly to a guitar without a trace of send up. As Lowri-Ann says, ‘She is the Deacon’s daughter.’
And the finale celebrates her Welshness once again with ‘Do not go Gentle into that Good Night’ from the poem by Dylan Thomas. This is a show for people who do not have sentimentality in their makeup but who can appreciate real sentiment