Every inch the diva, London Hughes has Stars In Her Eyes. Tonight Matthew, she wants to be… Britney Spears? Not the strong, black, female singer you expect London to aspire to. But in the 1990s she grows up in a world of white women and is lacking in superstar role models. Especially when she describes her aspiration to pursue comedy. Black, female, young, comedian. Four words rarely used to describe celebrities today.

Superstar is London’s retort. She might not be “Britney, bitch” but she has sass, style and an onslaught of comedy material at her disposal. It fires shotgun into the crowd at a million miles an hour and is initially overwhelming. The sheer force of personality bearing down on the audience loses London the true impact of her material. It’s coming too fast, there is no pause to let the jokes sink in.

But in a room full of millennials, London brings the audience back on side with much-loved references to childhood icons, gameshows and presenters. Turns out, there is one female TV personality that London aspired to emulate – Angelica Bell. Well, it’s either her, or puppets, or paedos. So, if Angelica can get a degree and go on children’s TV, London can too. And she does.

The beauty of this show is that it’s honest. It seems like London is bragging about things she’s accomplished, but she has done a hell of a lot in a short space of time. Strictly Come Dancing – she’s flashed the audience; CBBC – she presented it with her puppet friend (it’s actually not a real dog, you know).

In true 90s gameshow style, Superstar has low production value – namely props master, co-star, voiceover artist and general dogsbody Kyle. Poor Kyle is quite the chameleon – this man does a great Chris Tarrant (the wig is questionable) and an even better Trisha. When these situations play themselves out on stage, London gets the audience on board with her infectious, likeable personality. She is the life and soul and confident as hell; the unflinching faith in herself rubs off on the audience. Literally in one case, after London brings him on stage and sits on his face – a Dirty Dancing routine gone wrong.

As she slowly works through her life, achievements and decisions, London weaves in more and more gameshows with more and more participation. Poor Allie has to give London advice on what is a good ‘magic number’ (apparently 12 is high…); two men get cornered to fight London’s corner when she reveals some of the cheesy chat-up lines she has endured. By the way, no, she did not show her Shepherds Bush.

Superstar ends with Edinburgh – who knows, maybe it will catapult London into superstardom. For now, she keeps doing her thing and whisking the audience along with her.

 

★★★☆☆

London Hughes: Superstar plays C Royale, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until  27 August 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.