A misremembered memoir sounds rather melancholy and a bit… arthouse. Unless, of course, it is the misremembered memoir of writer, broadcaster, Duckie co-founder, performer and Celebrity Fit Club contestant Amy Lamé. In her hands, the potentially sentimental nostalgia of an autobiographical one-woman show becomes something far more bizarre and biting. Add songs, sandwiches and strangeness and all the accolades it received at the Edinburgh Festival this year, and you’ve got a hit at Soho Theatre.
Amy Lamé’s Mama Cass Family Singers is a theatrical mash-up of fantasy and fact and is the tale of Amy’s upbringing as the chubby child star of a 1960s cover band. Forced to tour all over the US with her dysfunctional siblings, Amy recalls the experience as a surreal and tragi-comic embodiment of the American dream, and in the performance, asks why were four fat kids made to sing? How did her family get so messed up? Did Mama Cass really die choking on a ham sandwich?
Stand-up and solo performance is mixed with footage of the Mamas and Papas and filmed interviews with Amy Lamé’s own family in her first solo show in a decade. It’s happy camping all round as you would expect from the lady who co-founded and hosted Duckie, performed previous solo shows called Gay Man Trapped in a Lesbian’s Body and Cum Manifesto – and it’s directed by Christine Harmar-Brown whose previous credits include the camp-tastic Pam Ann’s Christmas Cracker.