Last year’s TO&ST award-nominated ‘Post-Mortem’ was a triumph for Dusty Limits, showing off his sharp-slicing wit and musical élan as well as the warm-blooded humanism pulsing beneath the dilettantish veneer. ‘Psycho’ evinces all the same strengths but in a more straitened mode – and is none the worse for it, if inevitably less transporting. Dressed in funereal monochrome, Limits takes mental illness in its various forms as his canvas, ruminating on subjects from hallucinatory inspiration to the tendency to pathologise normal behaviour. The meat, of course, is a hugely varied and accomplished collection of brand new songs written with Michael Roulston, on subjects from serial killers to ennui to closet cases, in styles ranging from Lieder to tango to electronica. Not exactly a feelgood show, then, but hugely entertaining all the same: with lines like ‘the whisky he’s drinking has filled up his eyes’, satire that mashes up Noel Coward, Jonathan Swift and the Hitler Youth, and an indignant sympathy for disadvantaged, this is cabaret of a very high order.
And if you like the sound of this, try:
‘Lady Rizo’, another stellar act who has moved from last year’s exuberance into a more melancholic register without sacrificing showmanship or entertainment value.
For more from Ben Walters in Edinburgh, follow him @not_television
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