Review: Diane Chorley - Duchess of Canvey

Diane Chorley
Diane Chorley
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NOT long out of prison, “more St Trinians than St Teresa,” our Duchess is quietly formidable.

* * * *

Underbelly, Potterrow

Her motto, ‘needs must,’ conveys her determination to solider on and she has yanked up her bootstraps so often she can probably knot them round her neck like a scarf.

In the 80s she lived the high life, running a successful nightclub where the rich and famous danced, performed, fornicated and hoovered up drugs. If only Diane hadn’t been selling them...

Thin as a wraith, with more facial tics than a drunk with the DTs, Diane is still a helluva singer, belting out tunes that had the audience on its feet dancing by the rousing finale.

What’s curious is that this show so nearly doesn’t work. It drags sometimes - no pun intended - when Diane’s drawl pulls at the momentum, yet she always rescues us from the brink of a yawn with sly anecdotes about celebrities caught doing what they shouldnta oughta.

Diane could be a pitiable figure but her strange charisma makes that impossible. Leaving the venue on a wave of nostalgia, it seems the most natural thing in the world to tumble into her waiting arms for a goodbye hug. All hail the Duchess!

Until 31 August