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Gillian Elisa
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2005

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© Gillian Elisa 2004 - 2010

Review by Michael Kelligan

Now, Gillian Elisa is a brilliant actress, as her long running character Sabrina in Wales’ great soap Pobol y Cwm testifies: along with a whole list of other demanding roles both in television and on stage. She’s been back there since, but at the end of that fifth series, was seen heading to Bristol, as it happened, from Cwmderi to do something ‘Mega’ there with Dafydd Hywel. Watching Gillian in Chapter a few years on she has clearly become a ‘Mega’ star. Gillian is obviously too young to remember Maudie Edwards but the wonderful late Pobol star Harriet Lewis must have, she too was a commanding comedienne and most certainly had a big influence on Gillian’s developing comedy style. Actress and comedy entertainer would be enough for most girls but to these talents Gillian is able to bring her extraordinary singing talents. She is now regularly being seen as one of Peter Karrie’s ‘friends’ and has completed three albums of new and traditional Welsh songs. Gillian’s work is mostly in the Welsh language but her sense of theatrical style is universal.

It was touch and go as to whether 100-seat theatre could contain such a powerful performer but it’s well accustomed to all performers big and small. An hour of Gillian simply singing would have been a great delight but keeping up a great comedy tradition Gillian won’t miss an opportunity to give us a laugh. She opens, off stage with a lilting Suo Gân but no sooner are we enchanted, she breaks off into one of her many comedy voices, the one “just like Lil Jones from Abernant Street”, to tell us that her latest CD will be available for sale in the bar after the show. It wasn’t! She gives us a couple of numbers straight down the line backed by the amazing ‘Jo’s Heatwave’, two wonderfully athletic and smiling dancers who really appreciate and enhance Gillian’s sense of humour with every swift kick of the leg and swish of their long blonde hair. Lucy and Katie Redman are an internationally renowned act.

Even they are a bit bemused when during one of Gillian’s short breaks a very sexily dressed young lady appears ready to give some very torchy numbers but the spell is very quickly broken as she opens her mouth to speak. Very quietly she tells us she is Delyth Dawel (Delyth the quiet one) but not when she gives us both Ike and Tina Turner with her own River Deep Mountain High. But Gillian’s ‘guest’ who has the biggest impact is a little old lady who goes by the name of Mrs. Olwen Tegwen Thomas or better known as Mrs. OTT. This is one little old lady who doesn’t need any help in crossing the road. She ravishes the young man she has dragged from the audience with her rendering of Big Spender. Gillian ends the show with a gentle and moving Go The Distance from Hercules but not before another ‘guest’: the smoky voiced ‘Olga Teknikalitch’ had invited us to Come To The Cabaret. Which was where we were and the champagne was sparkling brightly".


Review by Phil Evans

The Edinburgh Comedy Festival is the place to be and be seen, especially if you are a performer. Having seen so many shows, Gillian Elisa featuring Jo's Heatwave made me feel proud to be Welsh.

This was Gillian's second festival and the show is going from strength to strength. Gill is very funny and is also prepared to play the fool, which works very well for her together with sharp, hilarious one-liners. This show is full of energy and even the dancers are used to extract comedy from the hour long performance. The three girls on stage were clearly well rehearsed and loved every minute of it.

This is a must see show.
 

Two Princes  |  Gillian Elisa with Jo's Heatwave  |  Peter and the Wolf  | Sleeping Beauty  |  Maenclochog  |  Peter Pan  |  Thomas Arms