Review: Diane Chorley - Modern Love at Assembly George Square

For Diane Chorley, the ‘Duchess’, the Queen of Canvey Island, everyone in the room is gorgeous. Dressed in a blue eighties dress, boots and lippy, Diane is a blast from the past: a simpler time, where a working men’s club could be transformed into the hottest nightclub in the Thames estuary. That nightclub is where we are now, The Flick, bedecked with glitz and palm trees in the middle of the Assembly festival. Well, the reinvented version because the original was lost to a Grace Jones-related fire.

Modern Love is a drag cabaret version of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ if you will, a story of entrepreneurship, fame and redemption that’ll keep you laughing throughout. David Selley’s alter ego is a woman of heart who was once “the face of Branston’s pickle” but has since done jail time and is now in a world that she’s still trying to catch up with.

Chorley is a loveable host, stressing that everyone is welcome down at The Flick, no one gets turned away because they’re different or poor. The ‘anything goes’ liberalism is a refreshing change from the sometimes dogmatic wokeism in other shows – Chorley has a generosity of spirit that creates a genuinely inclusive atmosphere, it’s no wonder by the end everyone is up on their feet dancing. This is character comedy at its warmest, filled with tales of the glamour of being a (minor) celebrity and the power of pop. With original, immediately catchy songs performed by Chorley and her guitarist Milky, it’s a blummin’ good night out too. 

Diane Chorley: Modern Love, The Flick at Assembly George Square, until 25 Aug, 8pm

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