Theatre review: The Bevvy Sisters, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Taking a break midway through their energetic but measured two-hour set, our three hosts instructed us to “get back on the wagon”, by which they meant visiting the bar would be a good idea.

The Bevvy Sisters
The Bevvy Sisters

The Bevvy Sisters | Rating: **** | Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

They are the Bevvy Sisters, after all, although you didn’t need to be well-oiled to enjoy their skilful and exuberant performance.

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Playing the latest in a series of profile-raising shows in the Traverse Theatre’s café bar, this was also the Edinburgh-founded Bevvy Sisters’ Christmas party, and their sell-out audience certainly entered into the spirit of things. The lead vocal trio of Heather Macleod, Gina Rae and Cera Impala played jazz and soul standards throughout, but they weren’t afraid to mess around a little.

The expansive show took in a cheerful Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens and a breezily upbeat version of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, their jazz styles balanced by a hint of traditional country – as in Tennessee Waltz, classily elegant and well received on the dancefloor. Their voices locked together stylishly, and in harmony with bandleader David Donnelly’s backing on Loveboat Bad Boys. At the less traditional end of the scale, Stevie Wonder’s Have a Talk With God became a dreamy, flute-led funk, Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams was redesigned into something slow and smoky, and Aretha Franklin’s Rock Steady and Donna Summer’s I Feel Love provided a lively conclusion.