Nancy Dell'Olio:

Rainbows From Diamonds

Gilded Balloon

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For all the fandango around her short Fringe stint, Rainbows From Diamonds seems to be a dress rehearsal for a London run, on which Nancy Dell'Olio clearly has her steely sights. Included in the theatre category in the Fringe brochure, the show's marketing hedges its bets by listing spoken word and comedy in parenthesis. This confusing hybrid is the problem with the show: what is it trying to be?

What "Nancy" needs (apart from avoiding speaking about herself in the third person) is theatrical direction and to decide if she is letting herself directly address the audience or if she is the performer delivering a focused one-hour show. Glamorous props cannot make up for a lack of coherent and ordered material. Her cue-card system only confuses, especially when she was running over time (a no-no at any decent Fringe venue).

On Friday night, there were technical hitches galore, the most prominent leaving her behind a make-shift screen with a runner and her Sicilian PA for more than five minutes while she was poured into a red lace two-piece catsuit. Although dramatic Italian music was playing, it could not stifle the uncomfortable laughter of the audience and highlighted the farcical nature of what could have been an insight into a high-profile, disconcertingly uber-confident woman.

In the industry, a bad dress rehearsal means agood show, so hopefully the best of "Nancy" is indeed yet to come. Of this, at least she is quite convinced.

Until August 24