Crawley-bound Hannah imagines Victoria Wood's musical response to Donald Trump
A musical tribute to the late, great comedian Victoria Wood is coming to Crawley – devised and delivered by Brighton-based musical comedy performer Hannah Brackenbury (The Hawth, February 1).
Hannah is promising a joyful and poignant celebration featuring a number of Wood’s classic comedy songs alongside original poems and numbers inspired by her work.
The one-woman show Victorious enjoyed a sell-out run at Brighton Fringe 2018, scooping the Broadway Baby Bobby Award for Best of the Festival, as well as Best Show at the Funny Women Awards 2019.
“Victoria Wood was my hero and to be able to pay tribute to her in this way and have fellow fans enjoying the show so much really means the world to me. It’s a great honour to be able to perform her material and keep her memory alive.
“I was a big fan since my childhood. I grew up watching her on TV. I had piano lessons from the age of five. Whenever she was on the TV playing the piano, my mum would call me in to come and watch. She was a very big influence on my career.
“I think (her success) was because what she wrote was so relatable. Her songs and her sketches are all about ordinary people doing ordinary things. So many people can relate to what she writes about.”
Tragically, she died four years ago: “I didn’t know she was so unwell. She was a very private person. It was such a shock.
“I had been following her all my life. The first thing I thought was that I would never get the chance to see her perform live. It was really, really sad. There hasn’t been anyone like her since and I don’t think there will be. And she was just so talented at so many different things.
“I have been performing her material for years. When she died, initially people were saying to me that I should do a tribute to her, but it was so soon. I felt really uncomfortable about that. I didn’t want to be seen to be furthering my own career on the back of her death.
“So I left it for a couple of years and I was doing more and more Victoria Wood stuff. When Brighton Fringe came around in 2018, I decided that I would develop something that was really respectful and tasteful.
“I talk about her influence on my life and I talk about her life and my life and the fact that there were similarities. She grew up as part of a large family, but she spent a lot of time alone which is how she came to learn the piano.
“I was an only child and I also spent a lot of time on my own, learning the piano.
“She was a very private person, but when she was on stage she would get into these characters.
“Off-stage, I like to think I am quite a private person. I keep myself to myself, but I think when you go on stage, which I love doing, you almost become another person. I think something switches on and I think that happened with Victoria Wood.
“There is a poignant bit towards the end of the show where
I talk about her death and I also talk about all the things that have happened since she died and how the world seems to have become more unstable.
“I have written a song about Donald Trump, and I have written it in the way that she would have done, I like to think – what she would have thought about him.”
And no, Hannah really doesn’t imagine that Victoria would have been a fan…