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

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons ★★★★ Harold Pinter Theatre | Jan 18 - Mar 18, 2023

Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton ★★★ The Pheasantry | January 13 &14, 2023

We'll Always Have Paris ★★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Jan 19 - Mar 11, 2023

George Takei's Allegiance ★★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Jan 7 - Apr 8, 2023

Two Billion Beats ★★★★ Orange Tree Theatre | Jan 20 - Feb 4, 2023

Newsies ★★★★ Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre | Until April 16, 2023

In the Net ★★ Jermyn Street Theatre | Jan 12 - Feb 4, 2023

On The Ropes ★★★★ Park Theatre | Jan 7 - Feb 4, 2023

The Cher Show ★★★ New Wimbledon Theatre | Jan 31 - Feb 4, 2023

Love Goddess, The Rita Hayworth Musical ★★★ The Cockpit | Nov 18 - Dec 23, 2022

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings