Eleanor at Udderbelly
We’ve followed the fortunes of Rich Fulcher’s solo stage show Eleanor in Australia and the US, and last night saw the final London show before Eleanor heads to the Edinburgh Festival. Luckily for us two of The Velvet Onion crew, BabyOnFire and Mogemms, were also there to witness it. Here’s what they had to say:
BabyOnFire: As the audience members clambered inside the purple cow overlooking the London Eye, no one knew what to expect even as they walked in to see a small stage with a sofa, a box of wine on the side table and also some small Japanese screens. After all, it’s Eleanor the infamous tour whore and unpredictable is her forte!
The crowd were warmed up straight off with a superb rap from the lady in question about herself. Not long into the show a man in the brave seats was accused of rape, then later on given the opportunity to watch the remainder of the show in 3D! After donning the retro blue and red specs he had been given, Eleanor went on to read from her autobiography which began with an anecdote about riding into the sunset with her then-lover Archibald Swankbucket (I think!). A personal highlight from the evening was the front row gentleman’s “3D experience” which consisted of being pelted with ping pong balls and cotton wool as Eleanor recalled the horrific weather she faced on her journeys.
We also heard about her relationship with Susan Boyle, an old school mate who later on became a rival in her career. There was also many a song, of course – a particularly memorable one being ‘Gag Hag’, in which Eleanor sings about the list of comedians that she would rather enjoy the company of.
A re-occurring segment in the show that caused constant belly-laughs was ‘Taking the Mick’, with it’s own corny game-show style theme music and amazing dance moves to accompany it. We were treated to live streaming of some Hollywood A-listers, all named Mick, that Eleanor has had sexual relations with. There is also a surprising and jaw-aching, hilarious cameo from a certain star in the Booshdom.
As most of you would know, Eleanor sprouted from a minor character in The Mighty Boosh, Series 3. Anyone who would have heard of Rich Fulcher taking this character out of the Boosh and on to stage around the world, would hold some scepticism in their minds at its prospects, especially as it is – to put it simply – a drag act! Fulcher seriously knocks it out of the park with this show though and had their been enough legroom, I’m sure every audience member would have been rolling on the floor in hysterics. Which they were, but in the restraint of their seats.
If some of you were lucky enough to see Eleanor warming up a few months ago, the show has evolved drastically from then, and all for the better. The audience were more than impressed at the show back then, and now even more so. It’s a show filled with enough double-entandres to make Sid James proud, enough wine to make UB40 want to sing about it, and enough laughs to make you want to see it again and again. A highly recommended show that speaks for itself. After all the work that had been put in by Dave Brown and Rich Fulcher, and you’d be mad to miss the next oppotunity to see this cheeky minx in action!
Mogemms: Taking a minor character from The Mighty Boosh and creating an entire life story and solo stage show around her could have gone 2 ways. In less capable hands Eleanor the Tour Whore could have been an hour-long knob gag. Thankfully, Rich Fulcher’s borderline psychotic approach to comedy lifted it well above that. There were enough double-entendres to make John Inman blush, mixed with Boosh-like flights of fancy, silly songs, and genuinely stomach-turning shock statements. Laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Particularly impressive was how, over the course of the performance, Eleanor transformed from a trannie caricature into a multi-layered credible woman (I kid you not) who you actually started to empathise with. Perhaps more fundamentally noteworthy is how Rich managed to create a structured show out of the uniquely unstructured outpourings of his mind. Personal favourites include the anatomy of Eleanor’s mother (let’s just say her dentist and gynaecologist are the same person…), a star turn from Tom Meeten (hilariously offensive!), and the musical numbers which simultaneously managed to be tuneful, clever and painfully funny. If you’re heading up to Edinburgh, go see!
We at TVO wish Rich and Eleanor all the best when they head up to Edinburgh for the Festival. For tickets, clicky here!
Great review! We went to the Friday show and it was simply hilarious, but as the reviewer says here, there’s a real poignancy to Eleanor, too. Rich plays her so well, it’s almost impossible not to think of her as a real woman. The whole show was exceptional. A personal fave out of so much to laugh at – the intro to Eleanor’s ill-fated cookery programme “Eleanor in the Kitchen”… surely only Rich could make two saucepan lids, some tin foil and a grapefruit so painfully funny. 😀
Eleanor sounds like an absolute riot! 😀 I’m also intrigued that everyone who’s seen the show mentions how Rich humanises her, lifting the show far beyond just another drag act. I really hope Eleanor does a full tour at some stage – come to Wales pleeease!