Get us in your inbox


Lucy and Friends

  • Theatre, Experimental
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Lucy and Friends, Lucy McCormick, 2023
Photo: Jonny Ruff

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Magnificently anarchic one-woman cabaret revue from live art provocateur Lucy McCormick

This review is from the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘We saw your other show,’ replies a middle-aged lady when Lucy McCormick asks what brought her and her six friends down tonight. ‘The one with the fingering.’

While it’s hard to imagine McCormick ever going mainstream per se, it’s a mark of how much people loved her 2016 debut ‘Triple Threat’ that rather than being run out of town for its heady cocktail of nudity, blasphemy and – yes – fingering, it’s actually won her an army of determined fans. She’s been busy stage acting for the last few years, but now she returns under her own name – with regular director Ursula Martinez – in her biggest venue to date.

The fact she now has an audience who by and large know what to expect intrinsically takes some of the shock factor out of her act. But that also lets her experiment with being a little less disturbing, a little more ‘fun’.

Where ‘Triple Threat’ was a wildly inappropriate, hypersexualised recreation of the New Testament, the basic premise here is that McCormick intended to make a cabaret-style show with four other pals, but the Arts Council funding to do so fell through. 

And apparently that is literally what happened and thus the premise is essentially ‘it’s a cabaret show, but all the acts are the same person’. So a bit more down to earth than her previous shows, but in fact pretty damn out there when that person is McCormick. The various ‘turns’ are glorious anarchic and funny: she comes on dressed as a confetti-spouting tree that lumbers awkwardly through the audience. Later she sings Adele’s ‘Hello’ while dressed in a crap ghost oufit that she fails to drink red wine through. There is, of course, the obligatory scene in which she stuffs stuff up her vagina. But it’s the chaotic audience interaction that really makes it – roping people into weird or demeaning jobs, making us sing a song with no actual lyrics, leaving us hanging wilfully awkwardly during scene changes. 

Is this her sincere version of a cabaret? Or an ironic parody of a cabaret? Probably it’s a little of each (to be honest there’s probably an argument that all cabaret is an ironic parody of cabaret). But it’s enormous fun, whatever it is. If Lucy McCormick is less likely to actively freak you out these days then that’s fine: we’re all friends now.

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski


£17-£27. Runs 1hr
You may also like
You may also like
Bestselling Time Out offers