"She’s cabaret to the core and this show reflects that."
Like a piano player in brothel or a chanteuse at an orgy, Sabrina Chap is the fallen woman of cabaret. A classically-trained pianist who slipped into the world of burlesque and bawdy songs, Chap has bags of personality and cheeky twinkle that entices the audience in this small, hot space to lean in and let her take control.
She's cabaret to the core and this show reflects that.
Chap, resplendent in classic 'burlesque girl' look, sits at the piano and regales us with the tale of her embracing the bad girl persona. The songs that pepper the show are all original creations and are catchy, witty and wonderfully performed. The subjects covered include one night stands, the political situation, and even a little heartbreak are worthy of the enthusiastic applause from the audeince.
Chap is what would happen if Tom Waits regenerated into Amanda Palmer but learned to be funny and a little self-aware along the way. She owns the tiny performance space and it's only afterwards that one realises that the show was as political as it was entertaining. Chap has a flair for words and makes many a salient point about sexual politics and isn't afraid to throw in some emotion where it counts.
Based in Brooklyn, Chap is brash without being aggressive, suggestive without seeming slutty (although she's happy to embrace the title) and funny enough to hold her own alongside any of the talented comedians at the Fringe. She's also confident with the audience, regularly engaging directly without ever taking it too far. Chap is cabaret to the core and this show reflects that; here the fourth wall is shattered and she is dancing on its remains.
Edinburgh Fringe has learned to embrace cabaret over the past few years and with quality performers like Chap returning that embrace enthusiastically, it gives me hope that even a self-proclaimed bad girl can be this good.
The stage is set with a Keyboard and a microphone, How to Be a Bad Girl - A Debaucherous Night with Sabrina Chap, is a cabaret solo-show full of storytelling, and hilarious off-the-cuff comedy. Sabrina Chap clearly loves people, and her stage presence reflects this vividly.
The intimate room at The place on York Place, whilst it may not be the most appealing looking, is a perfect size for an audience to appreciate Chap close-up as she gets personal with them.
A woman who was trained as a classical pianist and set out to be a choir teacher sit's in pink satin and fishnets telling the charged story of how she became "a bad girl" and "a slut" - and it's hilarious; her original music delights audience members, perhaps in more ways than one, as sings bluntly about sex, lust and loving it all.
American born and living in New York, Chap is used to a more lively audience than the Edinburgh Fringe crowd can often be, but she'll have you singing along with her in no time.
This is an intoxicating evening, and a must see for cabaret fans - or anyone that wants a bit of alternative sexual education.
Chap's cheeky, witty and bold personality shines through as she sings the stories of her own life, and sometimes others - all with wonderful vocal ability and tone that excites and engages the mixed crowd that packed in to the room to see her.
How To Be a Bad Girl by Sabrina Chap is a cabaret comedy dictating the journey of Sabrina as she goes from a goodie-goodie girl who is polite, kind, does everything that is asked of her and plays classical piano, to a woman who swears abundantly, sleeps around and sings sesame street themed sex songs. As you can imagine, it's quite a journey!
The songs themselves are brilliantly written by Sabrina herself, and sung with a gorgeous cadence that's filled with passion and beauty . anal sex has never sounded so good! Her piano skills are a mix of beautiful precision and fantastic chaos, quite like her humour and her wit! She steers her way around the literal A - Z of sex but remains honest and sincere. Through her songs and her stories, she creates a conversation about sex and sexuality that is honest and open.
But the best part?
This show perfectly depicted exactly why I need feminism. Let me explain.
The night I saw her perform, there was a handful of drunk men in the back rows. They were loud, obnoxious and constantly shouted out with smutty and lude comments. This heavily affected my enjoyment of the show; it made the audience uncomfortable, uneasy, and unwilling to put ourselves out to laugh at the things she was saying. The comments were about her looks, her stories, her songs, almost nothing was sacred as is often the case with occasions like this. But did this phase Sabrina Chap?
Not. One. Bit.
Chap laughed, smiled, and let her wit take over. She responded with hilarious lines of revenge and warmth at the same time. She didn't ostracise the men, she welcomed them into the fun. And do you know what? They started to enjoy themselves.
Chap created an atmosphere of love, warmth, acceptance and openness in the face of incredible adversity. She is truly a breath of fresh air to the world of feminism and I can say in absolute confidence, she is a force that deserves to be emulated.
A magician of a musician in a most fabulous hat, Brooklyn-based Sabrina Chap makes her Edinburgh debut.
How to be a Bad Girl, a captivating cabaret act of original songs performed on piano, is as dirty as the flyers promise - but with unexpected sweetness and poignancy. She dedicates her "One Night Stand Serenade" to the audience in a metaphor about live performance, one of many moments throughout the night that emphasises our shared experience, celebrating the power of live music.
With a cheeky punch, Chap charms even the politest of Edinburgh audiences to erupt into cheers and to sing along. Her songs are rich in variety, spanning themes of heartbreak, longing, anger, and political frustration, each its own storm of passion and humour.
It's unfortunate that this Summerhall-worthy show is instead confined to an inspiration-less box of a venue, but Chap - ever the personification of presence - manages to turn even challenging tech into an avenue for imagination.
As those of us who have seen her host the #Pianodrome have witnessed, she's even better on a real piano, but her energy is infectious no matter the setting. Among the best free shows at the fringe all month.
New York City songstress and all-round funny woman Sabrina Chap chronicles her delightful descent into the world of smut, booze and burlesque. With the title drawn from her signature tune, she reveals her journey from being a 'good girl', to becoming a sexual songstress of filth. Written to rival the twirl of a nipple tassel, her canon of dirty songs shot her into international cabaret stardom amongst a sea of naked ladies. Combining ragtime, smut and whiskey, it's an hour of revelry, abandon and great fun.
Going into How to be a Bad Girl, fittingly, takes you directly through a Hotel Bar. Ert Records' press release promised a night of debauched singing, and that is exactly what was delivered. Sabrina Chap, the sole performer, blazes through her boozy, bluesy set with all the delicacy of a pneumatic drill, dishing out smut, satire and existential dread in equal measure. The onslaught is relentless; Sabrina hopes to make you "feel this f*cking thing" with her.
It's not all chaos though, as How to be a Bad Girl's narrative suggests. Sabrina mentions an upbringing punctuated by classical piano lessons and attempts for parental approval. She certainly earns our approval-the classical piano paid off. Sabrina doesn't so much as glance down at the keys as she cracks jokes and openly mocks the audience for their alphabetical illiteracy. She's not drinking, surprisingly; Sabrina drinks water at regular intervals throughout the performance, presumably to protect her voice from the perils of late-night crooning. Think Eartha Kitt. Think female Tom Waits. Think nihilistic Cole Porter. There's a real intelligence to Chap's performance, made clear by her references to obscure literary figures and her own lyrical literacy. Her emphasis on education is also a notable highlight, albeit not one I feel appropriate to repeat in this review-it'd spoil the fun. It would also necessitate some profanity.
Chap's timing is consistently precise, with the audience being incorporated rather than merely participating. Chap is quick, reactive, and oozing with personality. Her comedic deftness is matched by her musical prowess, and her magnetism is undeniable. What's even more impressive is how Chap somehow manages to make erudite points about sexual politics, and just plain old politics, whilst simultaneously preserving her "slutty" stage presence. There's a lot to be said for the balance of the performance; it's delicately maintained, despite the indelicacy of literally every other aspect of Chap's performance.
How to be a Bad Girl is on at 22:30 until the 26th in The Laughing Horse at The Place Hotel. If you feel like getting your rocks off, Somna highly recommends you choose Sabrina Chap to assist you.
When a classically-trained pianist is dumped by her significant other, she goes off the rails. At least, that is the setup for Sabrina Chap's cabaret piece, a one-woman show that has a lot going for it. Sabrina is a talented musician out of Brooklyn, NY, with a sultry, dulcet voice. Her show is physical; she has the kind of energy most of us would envy, throwing her arms about and bouncing in her chair like a burlesque Jerry Lee Lewis. Sabrina laughs deeply as she titillates the audience, encouraging banter and inhibition.
Her show starts in on a high, with a song dedicated to the destruction of her morality. There's a little bit more cheer when she introduces a novel concept for Sesame Street: the ABCs of sex education. But the show then wanders into darker territory, such as family dysfunction and a mischievous number about death. The show ends with a song so rude, I blush to recall it.
There are certain aspects of this show that seem standard for burlesque, such as a fifties-inspired costume, fishnets, cavernous décolletage and bawdy songs. The show fits solidly into a mold, so if you are looking for something unusual or weird, this is not it. But if you've had a drink or three and want to be impressed and entertained in the late hours, this is a good bet. Please note, this show is not family-friendly, so don't take your parents (unless they are into that sort of thing)!
Ella March - 22 August 2018
When we were talking about this show afterwards, we decided it was a perfect blend of Victoria Wood and Monty Python. It would have been easy for Chapman to invoke smutty humour just for shock value, but it went deeper than that, providing a series of hilarious and yet very human songs that were easy to sing along to and fantastically well performed. We came out still laughing, and it was the perfect end to an evening.
alexander forsyth - 20 August 2018
Best show i've seen at the fringe so far this year, paid or free. Laugh out loud funny, wickedly intelligent, and politically on point. Loved it so much i'm going back with friends again tomorrow.
Jen Bolsover - 19 August 2018
If I could go and see this show again every night of the Fringe, I would. Sabrina Chap is a stunning performer and her songs are glorious and hilarious filth. I loved every minute and hope she'll be back for future Fringes!
Amelia Parker - 19 August 2018
An incredible show, I highly recommend! I laughed throughout and came out singing the songs, one of my best nights at fringe so far!
Georgia Humphrey - 19 August 2018
I saw this show two days ago and my face still hurts from laughing so hard. 10/10 would recommend, for an outrageous, hilarious, and sharply poigninant show
Essence Brown - 19 August 2018
How to Be a Bad Girl was by far the best free show I’ve seen in Fringe. Sabrina Chap is charming, funny, and a very sexy singer. Her songs were hilarious and her attitude commanded the room. Ayiyi, her show is awesome, ayiyi her show’s great, ayiyi she let sing with her in this song, I hope I get to see her show again!!!
Steven Vivell - 18 August 2018
This show is absolutely hilarious, creative, and heartwarming. The sexual content is interesting and sincere. It's never gross for the sake of it, as some such shows get. Chap is not only hilarious, but a lovely singer and piano player. She even gets the audience to sing along, and you're happy to be included. The A-Z sex song is easily my favorite.
Edinburgh Fringe weekend! Have seen some amazing shows thus far including the very witty Zoe Lyons, the brilliant Guilty Feminist show with Deborah Frances White, Kemah Bob, Jessica Fostekew, Bronac Titley and Aisling Bea, the fabulously provocative Kate Smurthwaite and the riotous and raunchy Sabrina Chap.
I know it's late in the day for Fringe recommendations, but if you're free at 22:30 the next couple of nights, GO AND SEE Sabrina Chap! She's the first "free" performer I've ever felt compelled to give £10 to (and will likely give more by buying her album come payday). She is like the raunchy, genius love child of Amanda Palmer and Rachel Bloom. 22:30 @ The Place on York Place. It's now in my "top 5 Fringe shows I've ever seen".
Friends in Edinburgh, who like pianos, and fierce women, you should all go en masse and watch whiskey angel Sabrina Chap, who is our friend and is cool af and frankly you'll feel lucky to be in the same room as her.
Only a few more nights to go, and she's been packing the house every night, so get in there early and find a good seat. The show is free, 10:30pm til 11:30, at The Place,
34-38 York Place. Feeding you all the info cause you are lazy fuckers, so all you got left to do is go.
"chronicles of a former classical pianist's delightful descent into the world of smut, booze and burlesque"
I met Sabrina Chap when she compered shows at The Pianodrome and again at the Poetry library for Thats What She Said. I knew instantly that I wanted to see her full show. Went last night and loved it. It’s not easy in a bland hotel space in the New Town to get a Sunday night crowd of strangers laughing, whooping and stomping their feet but she did it with aplomb and ease. If your musical / cabaret references include any of Randy Newman, Dr John, Tom Lehrer, Gilda Radner orTom Waits then you will love her as she channels them all.
The highlight of my first day at @edfringe was @SabrinaChap!!!! Absolutely brilliant cabaret. Clever songs, infectious personality and fucking hilarious!! The second highlight was managing to grab onto both my hoodie and my t-shirt when removing my hoodie.
#HowToBeaBadGirl was 100% my cup of tea (or maybe whisky). The songs are that good they’d have been entertaining without any element of humour or parody, but it helps that they’re side-splittingly fun and filthy.
Brilliant night last night at #ThatsWhatSheSaid #edfringe @ByLeavesWeLive feat @salenagodden @IonaLeepoetry @fayroberts + open mic inc @atinylife140 @sabrinachap. Diverse + wonderful performers, lovely atmosphere. Saw Sabrina’s show after, so so good.
I saw this show last night and absolutely fucking loved it.
HOW TO BE A BAD GIRL *caught the brilliant @SabrinaChap's one woman #cabaret/#burlesque show @ The Place (Venue 532) last night... smart, sexy, & effortlessly cool. an intelligent & hilarious performer.
Our entire cast+crew were out in full force tonight to see our lovely roommate @SabrinaChap’s incred show! If you’d like to spend an hour howling with laughter you need to see Sabrina at work #ReigenReccs @freefringefest @edfringe
"A contemporary Cole Porter" - The Advocate
“Judy Garland singing the songs of Tom Lehrer” - American Songwriter Magazine
"Intoxicating” - Polari Magazine - UK
"Guaranteeably vaudevillian and undeniably chic" - GO Magazine