Edinburgh Festival Fringe musical review: Cautionary Tales for Daughters – Songs Your Mother Never Taught You, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott
“Don’t do it my way,” Tanya Holt sings to the tune of the song popularised by Frank Sinatra. This is a show for her nine-year-old daughter, she tells us in what turns out to be a series of musical numbers based on her life and the lives of other women she’s talked to, each with a positive message at the end: be yourself; don’t worry too much about what you look like; if a man hits you it’s not your fault.
While the lighter routines, about a girl who wants to be a cowboy and a woman who loves brands so much she changes her name to “Chanel”, would suit a young audience, darker pieces about rape and victim blaming create a shift in tone that, while well-intentioned, feels like it comes from another show.
There’s a danger that the inherently limited structure of short songs oversimplifies complex issues, for instance when a piece about a woman who clearly has an eating disorder concludes, “Don’t be obsessed with what you eat”. But it’s a good-natured show which, with live piano accompaniment, bops amiably along, even if its view of young women and their concerns is familiar.
theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall (Venue 53), until 29 August, 10:15am
Published in The Scotsman on 24 August 2015
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