Pleasance Courtyard: Beneath
Aug 11-16, 18-29 (22:25)
Whether prancing about her living room as a toddler in front of her parents, youtubing her teenage way thro duets with her gay friend Austin, reaching the final house of the American X-Factor with said gay friend, or performing her debut show at the Edinburgh Fringe, New Jersey’s Emily Wilson is a really watchable young lady who loves to be watched. It is the second & third of those experiences which has led to the fourth, a cathartic & stylish reappraisal of her infatuation with Austin & their journey together to the level of almost making it as pop stars live on national TV. Almost.
Emily has literally turned all that teenage angst & hope, & then devastating rejection – which could easily have turned her into a crack head or summat – into a really fun hour of video clips & some witty, melodic, catchy songs of her own. Flight of the Conchords standard. This is perhaps her best ability, & at 26 if she can bang out a few more numbers like I saw with some rapture last night, there’s a great chance she’ll be back on national TV, the main goal of her a life (that shit never leaves people really).
As multi-media Millennial art form Fixed is fantastic, as an actress Emily handles the emotional torments of teenage dreams with breathless assurity, & as old skool cabaret its proper top-notch stuff. Yet ultimately it is as a story-teller, with all its secret nuances, that Emily excels, & even tho’ she admits its still stoumach-twistingly cringey to watch what she endured, the way she sings to her younger self at the end of the show, frozen in time (2011) in an X-Factor bubble, shows she’s on her way. Where she goes next is up to Emily, & I hope she’s back this year looking to excavate fresh caves of creativity rather than hold an extremely talented candle to those she has already explored.