Musical review: Cautionary Tales for Daughters – Songs Your Mother Never Taught You
Musical review: Cautionary Tales for Daughters – Songs Your Mother Never Taught You

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 …

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Edinburgh Festival

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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