Lucy Tops’ onstage presence was so captivating that the end of the show felt like being woken from one of those dreams you wish would continue if only you could fall asleep again. All 50 minutes seemed to go past in the blink of an eye. Much to the audience’s delight though, the talented Lucy Tops (not a stage name as I thought) returned for one last encore. Judging from the applause, she had certainly struck a chord with everyone present.
Hilarity ensued from the opening song, as Tops, wine bottle in hand, sang ‘I Want to Hold your Hand’ while giving the bottle a long yearning look, the way lovers might gaze into each others’ eyes. It wasn’t difficult to see the connection; Tops’ character in the play is a girl who really, really enjoys her booze. Absolucy is about her story.
Her love affair with the bottle began at the tender age of 16 at a karaoke bar, where for the first time she realises the joviality of being drunk. Through song and dance, Tops takes the viewers through the highs and lows of her drinking life and her ultimate downward spiral to the guilt and regret-filled dregs of the bottle.
By way of candid storytelling she tells of her drunken escapades, her love affairs and her occasional raunchy antics. Some of the stories are jaw dropping… though a quick look around the audience members revealed a few uncomfortable memories flitting across a handful of faces. Through my own experience I’ve learnt that intoxication and deplorable behaviour are invariably bosom buddies. Admittedly, it was fun to be laughing at someone else’s drunken follies rather than being the focus of derision.
The stories were poignant, personal, even outrageous, and I was left wondering just how close to reality this all was. After all, opening up about an addiction is not an easy thing to do, let alone night after night to a crowd of unknown faces. Speaking to Lucy after the show she revealed that the show was indeed inspired by real life events though embellished with a dash of creative comedy. The result was rather fantastic.
There is a lot to look forward to with this show. Divine vocals by an artist with an impressive resumé in both acting and singing, nostalgic dance moves and quirky wit make this a worthwhile night out. While you are there, have a drink. Hell, have many. You won’t be judged, gawked at or preached to. Certainly, there will be no regret about having a few too many, until, perhaps, the next morning.
Absolucy runs at Kalk Bay Theatre from 8 February to 3 March, Wednesdays to Saturdays.