I love cats. I am without a doubt a “cat person” and I’m totally up for any kind of cat-related entertainment, but even I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with An Audience With Milly-Liu, a one-man-cat-drag-late-night comedy starring François Pandolfo and directed by Dan Jones. Milly-Liu tells you her sordid tails about working with famous felines and partying with the best and worst of Hollywood – even stories that should perhaps remain buried in the litter-box.

The audience is on Milly-Liu’s side from the very beginning, as she leaps up from the seating and decides to take the show into her own hands when no other entertainment is forthcoming. A moment behind the curtain to compose herself results in something of a grown-up milk moustache, and from there on we are exposed to the juiciest gossip about the world of showbiz cats (Milly gets her drugs from the Cheshire Cat! Surely David Attenborough can’t have been at the sex kitten casting parties!).

There are some brilliantly accurate depictions of feline traits that kept everyone laughing throughout the whole show, especially those who are cat owners. Milly-Liu performs all of these as a dishevelled, disillusioned Welsh former movie star, who laps up beer from the floor, struggles to dislodge a cloth from her acrylic claws, and snaps at a patron who petted her for a second too long. I even got involved with her impression of two cats in heat, which wasn’t quite how I expected to spend my evening but was hilarious nonetheless.

There are a few too many vulgar jokes for my personal taste and the show doesn’t really progress very far from where it begins, but there are some surprisingly poignant moments that had me tearing up over fictional kittens, and it manages to expose some of the more distasteful sides of Hollywood exploitation and grooming. Milly-Liu has a great rapport with her technician Philippa and I thoroughly enjoyed each moment between the two.

I would’ve loved to have heard even more shocking stories and jokes about cats as I felt this was the show’s strongest point, but on the whole, this bizarre show was very well executed. I’d certainly give Milly-Liu a Dreamie for that performance.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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