Victoria Wood left an enormous void in the world of entertainment when she died on 20th April 2016. However, her memory, work and phenomenal comedy continue to live on. Television and media outlets allow audiences to still be entertained and marvel at her genius eye for detail.
I am not Victoria Wood devised and performed by Julie Knight aka Maddie North a former Victoria Wood tribute act who won second place in the BBC2 programme “Really better than the real thing” now records VLOGs from her Mum’s spare room after she found out that the show was cut from the television and had been told that online was the way forward now.
Many of VW’s familiar characters arrive on the stage from the lady looking for her friend Kimberley, the young girl who wanted to swim across the channel to the fitness instructor with the iconic neon pink leotard and large blond wig to mentioning her famous ballad, Barry and Freda.
Watching Wright on stage in character as VW was heartwarming. From her mannerisms and quirky body language to the various voices she used. The high standard of detail in Wright’s performance highlighted the close observational skills and research that had taken place to create this wonderful show.
Maddie’s performance combines a fitting tribute to the iconic characters created by VW alongside the personal growth story upon which Julie embarks upon after she spent a long time hiding inside Maddie. The intricately woven storyline is very moving and in many ways echoes VW’s life as very few people were privileged to know the person behind the characters.
Director Emma Bird has managed to capture a VW themed setting on a very small stage. From the scaled-down keyboard representing a piano to a suitcase full of recognisable characters costumes and wigs.
As a lifelong fan of Victoria Wood, I was unsure if it might not do the memory of VW justice. I was pleasantly surprised and would thoroughly recommend catching “I am not Victoria Wood” at the Pleasance before it finishes on the 15th August 2021.