Young is half of the writing and performing duo Roulston and Young, previous winners of Best Musical Variety Act in the London Cabaret Awards and one of Time Out‘s Top Ten Cabaret Acts of The Year. She devised An Evening Without Kate Bush with co-director Russell Lucas.

Bush herself essentially dropped from the public eye in terms of live shows after 2014, with later appearances being rare. Her 1980s hit “Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)” featured in the 2022 Netflix series Stranger Things, renewing public enthusiasm now partly met by tribute acts. Young was one who took up that challenge, displaying her own special talents in the process.

This is not the kind of act to take on lightly as a performer, however, not least because fans can be keen critics. Young gets the audience onside immediately and easily persuades some members on stage at key moments.

She gets Bush’s stage persona right, too, with a light and well-balanced dose of stagecraft. Acknowledging that the singer was a student of interpretive dance and mime, while Young is not, is a step to more humour. She does move well, though, and uses costumes cleverly, effectively relying on audience knowledge.

Young stays close enough to Bush’s material to be thoroughly engaging, while still leaving room for her own character and tongue-in-cheek contributions that add an individual and winning approach. At one stage she reminds everyone: “She’s not here …but you are!” Young even fearlessly inserts a tribute to a retired tribute performer into her own show.

Her voice is compelling. Celebrated songs include “Babooshka”, rendered in Russian, with Young telling the audience to join in. There’s “Hounds of Love”, “Don’t Give Up”, “The Man with the Child in his Eyes”, “Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God)”, and more. A mighty – and acrobatic! – “Wuthering Heights” is a fine finale.

Young is a brilliant entertainer with “that” Bush voice. Overlook the need for a better venue (without sound bleed from an adjacent tent) and go see her.

An Evening Without Kate Bush is playing at Le Cascadeur in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until  March 2.

Read more 2024 Adelaide Fringe coverage here on InReview.

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