Festive impressions from Jess Robinson in Brighton and Crawley

Multi award-winning star of Spitting Image Jess Robinson is on the road with a family-friendly evening of musical comedy and festive fun.

Jess Robinson
Jess Robinson

She brings The Twelve Days of Jessmas to The Old Market, Hove on Tuesday, December 14 and to The Hawth, Crawley on Sunday, December 19, promising magical mash-ups and fabulous original songs, backed by her live band on a journey on an imaginary sleigh ride through a winter wonderland of dazzling divas and stars of the silver screen.

Along the way she will serve up a feast of famous voices, from Gaga to Garland.

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“This is a new show for this year,” Jess says. “This is my first ever festive show. I can’t believe it!

“I was just so desperate to get back to it and 2022 seemed too far away. I just so much wanted to get back on stage so off we go!

“I have not been looking at the news or listening to anything in terms of Covid for a couple of weeks now I so much want this to happen.

“My band and I were so excited to do a tour last whenever it was before the lockdown and we didn’t get to do that.

“And we were going to do a new Edinburgh show. And I had planned to go on tour with The Guilty Feminist and then we had lockdown and Covid happened so we turned our hands to doing podcasts and we won a British Podcast Award.

“We’ve had all sorts of celebrity guests on there trying to do impressions.”

Jess believes anyone can do an impression: “And I will prove that in my show when one lucky member of the audience will learn an impression so that they can impress their mates. I always think that anybody sing can to some degree and it is a bit like that with impressions.”

There are certain initial things you have to do: “I think you look at whoever your subject matter is and you analyse whether their voice is a high voice or a low voice, and you think about where their voice sits compared to your voice, whether it is nasal or whether it’s in the throat and again you then compare that to where it fits with your own voice.

“You can do Janet Street Porter even though she’s got a different shape mouth and bigger teeth and speaks more in the back of her throat and you can also do Paloma Faith who’s got a little baby voice, but I can’t get Nina Simone. Her voice is too low for me. I can’t get my voice down that low so I can’t get the tone. There’s something quite manly about her.

“There are some men that have quite a feminine voice. I can do people like Joe Pasquale but I can’t do Nina Simone. There are just some voices that elude me. I was trying to do Hillary Clinton once and for a moment a very accurate Trevor McDonald came out. I don’t know where that came from!”

Inevitably with impressions you have got be up with what is happening: “It is quite tricky sometimes because you spend ages and ages working on somebody from Love Island and then they are not in the news two weeks later. But there are some people that are basically ever green, people like Janet Street Porter and Kate Bush and Judy Garland – and Lady Gaga because she is such a superstar.

“In the show there is a bit of stand-up and I also do six degrees of separation. I show the audience how every single voice is only six steps away from Priti Patel. You can start with Kim Kardashian and change just one aspect of it and in six steps you get Priti Patel.

“I also do The Twelve Days of Jessmas. It’s 12 days but instead of gifts it is different voices. And there is also the opportunity for an audience to choose a Christmas song and a celebrity voice and for me to put them together.

“I’ve done Lulu singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful and I did a duet of Katherine Jenkins and Sonia from EastEnders doing Baby It’s Cold Outside. You get a lot of bang for your buck in my shows. Every show is different!”