Fringe Cabaret

Dillie Keane

Underbelly, George Square

Keith Bruce

There is something quite gloriously old fashioned about the show that Dillie Keane is performing to capacity houses at tea-time in the upside down cow venue. It is a quintessential Fringe show that sits happily in a tradition that goes back to the rather less boldy vulgar offerings of Flanders and Swann and Tom Lehrer where captivating personalities perform witty songs of their own composition.

She never refers to it, but Keane is filling a slot booked for her group Fascinating Aida, whose non-appearance is explained by Adele Anderson’s diagnosis with cancer. But she refers constantly to Anderson throughout the show, as the songwriting partner who has co-credit on much of the material. I am not sufficiently familiar with Fascinating Aida to testify authoritatively, but I get the impression that Keane has deliberately eschewed the group’s most famous songs to mix a few that folk know with more personal and newer songs.

Mostly accompanied by Gulliver Ralston at the piano (except when she sits at the keyboard herself), Keane’s territory is sex and relationships and the behaviour of people who should be old enough to know better, but proudly don’t. Ralston’s tenor is effectively deployed on a forthright consideration of alternative sexuality, and a homewrecker chistened Pam is given the sort of tongue-lashing that would only Keane and the absent Anderson can serve up.