Before making her European debut at Assembly Room’s Bosco Tent on 2 August, the US-born Lady Rizoproclaimed on Twitter that her first performance would "channel the spunk and power of the American gymnasts, but the elegance of the Russians." After a slightly delayed kick-off, her first preview at Edinburgh’s Fringe proved to be a commanding vocal and comedic exercise.
Part comedienne, part chanteuse, and part raconteur, Lady Rizo’s act provides the kind of multi-faceted performance that is so symbolic of the Fringe. This is facilitated by an eclectic mix of covers and her own songs, along with a potentially disturbing amount of petal-eating, armpit licking and a truly terrifying rendition of Edith Piaf’s 'Non, je ne regrette rien', meaning that a fairly aggressive amount of audience intimidation is essential to the evening.
After seven years of performance in the US, the Lady Rizo enterprises have bagged a rather glorious sponsorship from the luxurious New York based brand Marchesa, bringing a costume set to the stage like no other. Combined with hair that resembles a small work of architecture, Rizo’s performance has all the glamour of a poodle, but with the growl of a pitbull. The performance is accompanied by a selection of backing musicians who appear in the spotlight as a bewildered herd of suited men, and despite some slight technical issues in the sound department (generally to be expected at preview shows), provided a plucky and warm accompaniment to her performance.
It's a truly promising show that will surely swell throughout the duration of the festival, and Lady Rizo is almost guaranteed to leave the audience ready to "spread your span, raise your motherfucking hands and sing the song of freedom."