Fascinating Aida have been globally touring (albeit with different lineups) since Ben Elton was funny, picking up rave reviews wherever they go. When we heard that they were appearing at posh pizza parlour The Pheasantry fresh from their Edinburgh Fringe shows, we raced down there to see them on the opening night of their three week stint.
"Welcome to an evening of song and doughballs," says founder member Dillie Keane with an Irish accent you could club baby seals with. It’s clear that these ladies of indeterminate age have kept up with modern life: their first song namechecks the Kindle, @StephenFry, Facebook, iPads, iPods, iPhones and even Bieber, which may have been a step too far for this largely middle-aged audience.
This is a gentle introduction to a band that generally considers sacred cows to be only so much pizza topping. A series of sung stanzas takes to task the likes of Tube strikes, Boris bikes, Jordan, Corden, Blair and Berlusconi. A highlight is an erudite dissection of banking and bankers (musically, unfortunately, rather than literally). Exceedingly brave for an intimate show in Chelsea, they find time to castigate via song those with a spare million in their back pocket who only attend the sexier charity galas (hunger and disaster, oh yes; Alzheimers, no thank you).
Away from contemporary fare, they happily discuss sex (yes, they’re Getting It), chastity (and how to overcome it) plus what to do with aged parents (clue: single ticket to Switzerland). The barnstorming final number is a riproaring evisceration of a cheap flight provider (no name, no pack-drill but the ladies all sing in an Irish accent) which has become a veritable YouTube hit (1.5 million views and counting).
If you’re interested in seeing a smart and satirical show by some lewd, rude and crude ladies, Fascinating Aida will be raging against the dying of the light for the next three weeks until October 23. The show is about 80 minutes long with an interval. Tickets are £25 each - more information and booking details here.