Joan Collins might be embarking on a UK tour with her show ‘Unscripted’ however there’s another 80s icon with a hotly anticipated show, which debuts at this year’s VAULT festival – An Audience with Yasmine Day by character comedian Jay Bennett.
This is Jay’s debut solo character comedy show, introducing us to Yasmine, a failed 80’s diva and now a noted pub singer. She is set to lavish audiences with more costume changes than Beyonce, a packed repertoire of eighties power ballads and a healthy dose of Bonnie Tyler.
Not one to be tamed by the constraints of a small underground venue in Waterloo, Yasmine promises a huge cabaret extravaganza.
Tell me about your Vault Festival show?
It’s a musical character comedy show about a disillusioned 80’s power ballad singer called Yasmine Day who attempts to revive her flagging career with a huge concert extravaganza. It’s very silly with lots of big costumes, shoulder pads and of course a huge perm. The show borders on cabaret/ comedy and has lots of 80’s songs that people will know, unfortunately Yasmine does a great job of messing them up, getting constantly distracted by her own ego. There’s a fair bit of audience interaction and absurd, silly skits.
There’s something very enchanting and post-modern about the aesthetic, what came first, Yasmine or Bonnie?
Yasmine! She always comes first (or so she thinks). I love looking at old 80’s photos and at Bonnie Tyler videos to get inspiration. The best video is Total Eclipse of the Heart. It’s so ridiculous. She just runs around in a white dress, backlit, while random men do contemporary dance.
Is Joan Collins trying to make a come-back because there is another icon on the block?
Joan Collins better watch her back. Although I doubt her and Yasmine move in the same circles. Unless Joan frequents the Frog and Bucket in Slough.
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t ask a tenuous Brexit question. How is Yasmine going to help take our mind off a potential no deal?
Haha. Wouldn’t it be great if a show about an 80’s Power Ballad singer was actually a huge allegory for Brexit?
I do have one Brexit joke in the show but apart from that, it’s just a really silly fun show and will definitely take your mind off a deal or no deal situation. The 80’s also harks back to a time of complete financial excess, so it’s a very far cry from Brexit Britain today. We can all look back at a simpler time together where there really was a ‘magic money tree’.
What is on Yasmine’s heavily rotated music on spotify (or 1980s Walkman equivalent)?
She’s definitely a CD kind of gal. Yasmine will never listen to anyone who recorded music after 1989. She thinks Adele is a type of dessert. Her favourites are Whitney Housten, Celine Dion, Phil Collins and of course, Bonnie Tyler.
Is this your first solo show?
Yes! I started working on the character last year when I wanted to start combining singing with comedy and it sort of went from there. I did the Buxton and Camden fringes last year to test the waters and have been performing the show ever since.
Are you still working in your comedy duo (Next Best Thing with Katie Davison)?
Yes! We are currently doing less live performance and working on more ‘behind scenes’ stuff. Currently we’re working on a podcast which is really fun and a totally different medium to live shows.
What do you love most about the 80s?
Oh god where do I start?! The music has to be the main one. So much good music came out of the 80’s so writing the show has been really fun, listening to old 80’s bands. The hair would be a close second. I had to style my own wig and so it was a real education looking at photos of 80’s hair. Absolutely horrendous.
Also fitness videos… have you ever seen an 80’s fitness video? I might start a petition to bring back ‘Jazzercise’. Leotards are a must.
What do you love most about being Yasmine Day?
She has endless amounts of confidence and I love playing someone who just thinks she is great at everything. It’s completely different from myself who isn’t always sure about my capabilities. She can get away with saying pretty much anything, because she’s a complete idiot and I like having the freedom to be able to do that too.
Plus singing all those 80’s songs is a real bonus.
An Audience with Yasmine Day is at Vault Festival on 24th January at 22:50. Tickets are £8.50 plus booking fee. Visit https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/an-audience-with-yasmine-day/