If holding two round receptacles of liquid nourishment causes your register to rise, before you proffer them forward as ‘two soups’, then this is the show for you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s probably not. Cabaret stalwart Paulus knows all about soup, and red cabbage, and Gypsy Creams, and anything that might be found ‘on the trolley’. In short, he knows the funny, strange, endlessly inventive language of the late Victoria Wood inside out.
Joined by piano-player and right-hand gag man, Michael Roulston, Paulus pays homage to the comedy writer and performer with no love spared. A fan since he was a young boy in the 1980s, he gathered all the quips, quotes, sayings and song lyrics that fell from his television screen and took them out into the world. Where he, like many of us, found that quoting Wood (and getting a knowing response) was a great way to discern whether you’d found your tribe.
In this funny and informative show Paulus fuses Wood’s life with his own, sharing facts about her achievements and legacy alongside musings on how she influenced him and others. He and Roulston also do a fine job with Wood’s songs, rising to the challenge of delivering her lip-quiveringly fast rhymes without tripping on a single word. Our ‘national treasure’ may be gone, but Paulus is keeping Freda’s request for a well-placed Woman’s Weekly alive and well.