Cabaret superstar Lady Rizo gets set to glam things up at Holt Festival
- Credit: Archant
These days it may be considered negative to be labelled a 'diva' – a word that has in recent years conjured images of stroppy super models and demanding pop singers.
Comedienne and chanteuse Lady Rizo is happy to receive such a moniker, however and in fact considers herself as one – but in the true sense of the word. 'I do consider myself a diva,' she says proudly. 'A name that has been bastardized – but the word diva comes from the Italian for goddess or fine lady. This divine feminine power that has been channelled through many pioneer independent women; Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Aretha, Beyonce.'
And with her combination of wit, charm, glamour and sublime singing it is easy to see that she is divine personified.
Draped in jewels, sumptuous dresses and her trademark eyelashes, the award-winning performer delights audiences with her theatrical take on pop songs from every decade and her own original material, all of which is peppered with witty banter and a liberal dash of crowd interaction.
Describing her show as 'selling a fine vintage wine in a new bottle' Lady Rizo is keen to give her audiences a good time with her unique mix of entertainment.
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She said: 'I am a comedienne and chanteuse equally. I encourage my audience to have a decadently good time and soak in the glamour of a diva all the while laughing at, with or near me. Think Mae West with soulful voice and a modern twist relevant to the world.
'The experience will change their (the audiences') brain chemistry. This laughter, music and glitter combo is the new street drug and its legal and has no side effects.'
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Her heady mix of entertainment has already gone down a storm in London, where earlier this year she enjoyed a three-week sold out run at the Soho Theatre.
And she is now preparing for one of her first performances outside of the capital when she brings her shimmering wardrobe and luxuriant vocals to Holt Festival.
Lady Rizo will take to the stage at the Auden Theatre, within the smart surroundings of Gresham's School, and is encouraging her audience to ditch the stiff upper lip for an evening of raucous fun she hopes will leave a lasting memory.
'I want totally relaxed jaws and lips easily sipping cocktails or mocktails and continuing that loosey goosey feeling for years after the show,' she said.
Dressing up and making an effort with one's outfit is also encouraged. She added: 'Part of the fun of engagement is meeting me halfway to create a happening - bring it on! Glam it up!
'Our date starts in your closet at home. Wear something you couldn't wear anywhere else, something that makes you feel alive and a little different this night. But please no hair or hats that obstructs any view of La Rizo.'
Those needing inspiration can look to her elegant vintage style, a look all of her own that is always topped off with her showstopping lashes. (I can't resist asking if they ever come off? 'No darling, they are natural,' she quips.)
And her Norfolk audience are in for a treat as she has lined up a special feat for her festival appearance. 'In Holt I am going to attempt for the entire audience to sit on my lap!' she adds delightedly. 'I have deliciously juicy thighs and I think it can be done.'
n Lady Rizo, Auden Theatre, Holt, July 23, 9.30pm, £20 (£5 cons), 01263 711284, www.holtfestival.org