Skip to content


Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Buxton 2012 arrow Lili La Scala: Songs To Make You Smile
Lili La Scala: Songs To Make You Smile
Published on Monday, 23 July 2012

4 starsArts Centre Studio, Music
Run ended
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

Lili La Scala presents an evening of humorous vintage songs, which she’s tracked down with the aim of giving them a new lease of life on the contemporary stage. Including songs by Ivor Novello, Flanders and Swann and George Formby, as well as a couple of Gracie Fields numbers, this is a well-selected programme.  What’s more, La Scala’s expert storytelling makes each song accessible and entertaining, easily living up to the show title’s promise.

An elegant and engaging soprano, La Scala delivers the music with character and feeling. Clearly passionate about the era she is showcasing, she is an excellent guide for aficionado and novice alike.

Very much rooted in the world of cabaret, La Scala is in character throughout. In such an intimate space, this had moments that teetered on feeling a little false – but that could be solved either by connecting more simply with the audience, or by pushing the character yet further, avoiding the awkwardness of the middle ground. The show may benefit from more distance between the audience and the stage, as La Scala’s powerful vocals rendered her amplification rather unnecessary.

But these are minor points.  Songs To Make You Smile is an enjoyable show, in the company of a gracious and knowledgeable host. If you’re in the mood for some vintage glamour that is certain to raise a smile, then you’d be hard pressed to do better.

<< I Want To Hold Your Hand   Shyness is Nice >>


These are archived reviews of shows from Buxton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.