Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** The surprise is how unshocking it is

Chris Green's female alter ego is a self-obsessed Country and Western star, whose patter and songs are unexpectedly gentle in their humour.

The poster shows a gigantic grinning Tina bestriding the New York City skyline, her legs where the twin towers used to be and a jet plane flying towards her. Inevitably, a British newspaper sent the picture to some bereaved relatives of 9/11 victims, and inevitably the responses were intemperate. Green/Tina might seem to be asking for it by using such an image, but Tina is actually a more mellow character than it suggests. The point is that she is so phenomenally self-obsessed that she can make even the September tragedy about her, recovering as she was from cosmetic surgery at the time.

Green is adept at working even a late-night drunken audience, using down-home insincerity to appear to flatter while actually firing off tiny darts at us. The songs are not nearly as grotesque as those of Rich Hall's C&W alias Otis Lee Crenshaw, and the whole show is a collection of grins and chuckles rather than outright belly laughs. The poster image may indeed be just opportunism; there's no real controversy here.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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