Liza Pulman, one third of cabaret act Fascinating Aida, will be offering Everything’s Coming Up Roses for the Petworth Festival (Leconfield Hall, Tuesday, July 26, 7.45pm).
Hot of on the heels of a Hollywood-inspired show, tour and album earlier this year, she is now offering an evening which is wholly garden-inspired.
As she says, it takes its roots in gardens, gardening, flowers – and weed killer.
With every song in the show making reference to a flower or a garden, the evening is an eclectic mix of music ranging from Tip Toe Through The Tulips to Neil Diamond’s You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, accompanied by Joseph Atkins at the piano.
“The roses show really started this time last year,” Liza said. “I was asked to put together a show for the beautiful town of Eye in Suffolk. It is a wonderful place and has got one of the most beautiful medieval churches. They have a garden festival every year around this time, and for the weekend everybody opens their gardens, from big country estates to tiny gardens. It’s a really charming affair.
“A friend of mine has bought the old vicarage and found himself in the middle of all this, and he asked me to come to do a show. I had an old show that I was going to do, but it seemed to me that I should write something specially for it, and I came up with Everything’s Coming Up Roses. Every single song has something to do with a flower or garden. It was the most ridiculous remit I have ever given myself!
“It was challenging. There was quite a lot of material. I was on tour with the girls (the other two members of Fascinating Aida), and it was great to have the chance to talk about something that wasn’t Fascinating Aida! Adele in particular really grabbed hold of it. Every morning she would come down with more suggestions – ‘I’ve got another one!’ So I ended up with a great range of material going right through to the 70s and the 80s, and I discovered that my great love is to do a show with a great range of material.
“With a show like this, it is not so tempting to try to do it chronologically because you are more interested in the flow. You want the humour, and you want the emotion. And you want it to kick off with a bit of life. There is a real joy with it, and it has been great. The first time I did it was last year, and it was the first time I met my musical director. It was a great meeting. It has been a really wonderful thing.
“It worked pretty well as we did it last year, but always as you do it, you find little things and change little things and add little things, so it is a question of remembering those. But it is also great how the partnership with my musical director has become more solid.”
Liza’s Hollywood show proved the best possible start to the year: “It went brilliantly. Absolutely brilliantly. I felt completely exhausted by the end of it, if I am honest. We did the album in January and then toured for two months, quite a healthy tour. It was busy, but it was not bonkers. It was not too killing. But it was the first time I had gone out with a band in that way.
“But what was lovely was that the audience really responded to the material. I think the thing I had underestimated was my love of the movies would be quite so infectious, that it was something that so many other people shared. I took it for granted for me really, but what was lovely was so many people coming up to me afterwards saying how much they had enjoyed the shared experience.”
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