Sunday, 15 May 2011

Abi Roberts takes you up the Aisle...

And indeed she did Matron...with some cracking comedy and tantalising tunes, all packed into a one hour set, which was delivered with a sufficient dosage of double entendres that left the Bury Fringe audience revelling in a night of non-stop laughter.

From the moment my pal Abi Roberts entered the stage singing Chapel of Love, the scene was set for a performance that took the audience through tales of her failed first marriage, the divorce, the highs and lows of internet dating and the heights of meeting her new love.  For anyone who has experienced such chapters of matrimonial pleasure or soured love, there was something to touch the hearts and the laughter buttons of all.

But Abi does not give us a story of self-pity. Instead she delivers an uplifting routine of getting over some of life's relationship hurdles in a show that seamlessly weaves soft ballads with some real belters, glittered with sparkling impressions of Cher, Carrie Bradshaw and some truely fabulous regional accents.  All whilst getting dressed for her impending nuptials. 

Having already seen Abi Roberts perform in Leicester Square, London and in Soho's Pink Poodle Club, I knew she was great, a talented and natural entertainer, but I was still a little nervous having hooked her up with my pals at the Fringe Festival in Bury St Edmunds. Whether Bury would love her work as much as I did was the question that remained at the forefront of my mind.  It reminded me of the very first time my in-laws-to-be met my parents!

But of course I had nothing to worry about.  There was no doubt that Abi was perfect as the Fringe finale act, where she ended her show with an encore that brought the audience to their feet, dancing and applauding, whilst they joined in the chorus of Abi's anthem "Every girl should have a Gay Best Friend" with all the frivulous choreography that accompanies it.

So my job here is done.  The comedy lovers of Bury St Edmunds have fallen in love with Abi's work as much as I did a couple of years ago and the post-show reviews just said it all.  "What a stunning voice" said some, "The best night out in ages" added others and one audience member's Facebook comment just captured the evening brilliantly "Absolutely loved being 'taken up the aisle' by Abi Roberts.  What a stupendous stand up comedienne with a delightful singing voice too".

I couldn't have put it better myself.   So if you're up for a night of total cabaret entertainment with a lady who knows how to get the audience on their feet in a partying mood, Abi Roberts is definitely your gal and you can catch her on the tour that is taking her from the Brighton Fringe next week right up to this summer's Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.  Just visit for details and if you're looking for some inspiration on what to wear, the gig provides a great opportunity for hats, tiaras, fascinators and posh frocks abound! 


Well that's the Bury Fringe Festival done and dusted for this year and huge congratulations to organiser Claire Lowe and her team for pulling together a wealth of entertainment for Suffolk.  As well as Abi's gig. my personal highlights have been the entertaining comedian and broadcaster Kate Smurthwaite and Doug Segal, a fascinating mind reader who's also currently touring and is a must-see at Brighton or Edinburgh Fringe or indeed other listed venues around the country.   There really have been some great giggles and moments of awe during these last two weeks and last night's finale was simply the icing on the cake!  The events have most definitely made me want to see more next year.

So people of Bury St Edmunds, keep your eyes peeled for next year's Fringe.  It will certainly be one not to be missed.  Just bookmark and take a peek next spring to see who's going to be entertaining you next year.  In the meantime, to keep the laughter rolling, you can always head down to the Chortle Factory, the monthly comedy club at Benson Blakes' Attic Room.  Just watch this space for further details.

....and don't forget to check out my own impromptu "contribution" to comedy...helping the diva zip up her wedding dress, live on stage. Captions on a postcard please!


  1. Excellently written Karen Cannard - it was an absolute joy to be there and part of what looks to me like a very promising career ahead of Abi Roberts, I can definately see her on a BIG BIG STAGE giving it her all and having the whole country (ahem) WORLD in raptures - i'd go see her again and look forward to that day....when she goes global!

  2. Karen, what a fantastic recount of a completely amazing evening - how blessed we are to have such a great bunch of chick chums and to know the supremely talented Abi Roberts personally too - she's every ounce the smashing diva and a totally incredible variety star.....xxxxxxxxx