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Divinely Bette, The Tea House Theatre, London, 25th – 28th March
Tucked away behind The Royal Vauxhall Tavern in South London, The Tea House Theatre is a charming little café transformed into an intimate performance venue for this opening night of Bette Midler tribute act Divinely Bette. The theatre space is simply executed with a few floodlights and a PA system. We settle into our chairs, still in café-come-cabaret formation. After a few moments, the night begins. Our host for the evening, Kim Sheard, sashays onstage in a sequinned military-style outfit and kicks off the night’s proceedings with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Her resemblance to Bette Midler is indeed striking. Though you don’t need to be a Midler-phile to enjoy this evening.
Miss Sheard is warm and confident, talking to the audience between numbers. There are some excellent jokes and comic routines which provide another layer to the performance. It’s a very simple affair – one woman and her microphone with just the right level of glamour for an intimate performance. The costumes are adorable, covered in spangles which catch the light as Miss Sheard struts and shimmies for the crowd.
The musicality is delightful, a lovely blend of upbeat ditties and heartfelt ballads. Sheard sings very well, her voice is pleasant and the vocal range is strong. It would have been nice to hear a live musician accompanying Miss Sheard’s vocal prowess, but considering the size of the space this would be difficult. A live pianist would merely be icing to an already delicious cake.
If you’re looking for a bit of cabaret to start off an evening, maybe before popping to Royal Vauxhall Tavern, do stop by The Tea House Theatre and check out this act. A charming, fun night out.
Divinely Bette runs until 28th March at The Tea House Theatre. You can buy your tickets to watch the show here.