The Fabulist Fox Sister, Southwark Playhouse (online) - ★★★ - December 4 & 5, 2020


The Fabulist Fox Sister recounts the somewhat dark tale of the notorious medium in the late 1800s, Kate Fox, who was famous enough to have numbered world leaders among her fans. Writers Luke Bateman and Michael Conley's fascinating 70 minute show is very ably directed by Adam Lenson and stylishly set by Libby Todd. The Fox sisters from Hydesville, New York, began by deceiving people into believing that they could communicate with the dead. As portrayed by Conley and Bateman, Kate Fox, the protagonist, doesn't come across as a pleasant woman as she entraps her audience and rapidly becomes embroiled with the loves of her life: Jim Beam and Glen Livet. The show follows her true biography closely and does not try to elicit our sympathy or pull any punches. Fox is without compassion and gleefully delights in the death of her husband, while she also hates living with her children. At the end, burnt out and broke, she finally decides to come clean about her deception. Yet to the last, she continues to miss the adulation even as she dies in penury. A number of the songs are powerful, even reminiscent of Mama Rose in "Gypsy," but with a great deal of underlying bitterness. Although some of the modern swearing jars, clever wordplay keeps everything bubbling along, and Michael Conley works remarkably hard as Fox. Still, it is difficult to care very much about this deeply unhappy medium whose motto appears to be 'lie often enough and people will think it is true – even you.'

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Jane Hobson.

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

Your Lie In April – The Musical ★★★★★ Harold Pinter Theatre | Jun 28 - Sep 21, 2024

My Father’s Fable | Bush Theatre ★★★★ | Until July 27, 2024

Summer Exhibition 2024 ★★★★ Royal Academy of Arts | Jun 18 - Aug 18, 2024

The Secret Garden ★★★★ Regent's Park Open Air Theatre | Jun 15 - Jul 20, 2024

Judy Garland "I’m Still Here" ★★★★★ Ambassadors Theatre | June 30, 2024

Mnemonic ★★★★★ National Theatre | Jun 22 - Aug 10, 2024

The Trumpeter ★★★ Finborough Theatre | Jul 9 - Aug 3, 2024

Starlight Express ★★★★ Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre | Jun 8, 2024 - Feb 16, 2025

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

Next To Normal ★★★★★ Wyndham’s Theatre | Jun 18 - Sep 21, 2024

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings