“British humour in double”
“… because of the huge amount of British humour and masterly play of the Cello no one can resent anything.”
“… respect towards an awesome vocal acrobat, equipped with an very deep bass voice
and admirable a-capella abilities …”
“She plucks Joe, she skims him, strokes him and pounds on him and one is again and again amazed to see how this time-honoured instrument is able to produce these foreign and strange sounds.”
“A classy musical comedy … there can′t be many entertainers versatile enough to appear on BBC 2, 3 & 4!” – THE GUARDIAN GUIDE
“Elegant musical standup” – THE SUNDAY TIMES
“A magnificent show that is in addition long-overdue to a comedy scene swamped with uniformity.” – THE STAGE
“She should have been nominated for a Perrier Award!” – NICHOLAS PARSONS
“Wow, you can play cello and sing at the same time – can I be your manager.” – YOYO MA
“Can I have your autograph?” – CLAUDIO ABBADO
“Real genius – a born entertainer who sparkles like a bottle of champagne.” – VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY
“A Joyce Grenfell character for the 21st century – she deserves a place in musical history.” – THE SCOTSMAN
“Her versatility is amazing … this is all good fun and has massive popular appeal.” – BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
“No musical challenge is too great … this is a real afternoon treat.” – THE DAILY MAIL
“It′s jaw droppingly impressive.” – CHORTLE.COM ****
“Pick of the festival … slaughtering, audiences all over the world.” – EDINBURGH FESTIVAL MAGAZINES
“Sensational, I′m your biggest fan.” – ERIC SYKES
She played her cello and we thought “WOW”
Music Comedy Carrington&Brown plus Joe provided really good entertainment with their program.
Carrington-Brown presented their program “Mit Schirm, Charme und Cellone” (a word game on the German title for The Avengers) to a carried-away audience for the 18th “Festival of Cabaret” and were pleased to give two encores.
Wonderful, cute, unbelievable. Really great, with strong voices, magnificent. Beautifully international! The audience of the well-attended show was delighted by Rebecca Carrington, Colin Brown and Joe, the 231 year old cello that is quite able to sound like a guitar or a sitar under Rebecca’s knowledgeable hands. The two… um… three Brits who are now at home in Berlin Kreuzberg offered a trip through their musical lives: a harmonic program with outstanding cello and bagpipe music, vocals from classical soprano to Reggae bass, costumes of dandy, Jamaican conductor, Frenchman, African and Scottish kilt-wearer.
Udo Lindenberg’s Du spieltest Cello (you played the cello) was proper all the way down to hat and glasses, Colin elegantly danced the dance of Mr. Bojangles to the folk song that Robbie Williams recently set to music, Rebecca sang Edith Piaf and Astrud Gilberto and together, they performed the Beatles’ Blackbird. They also presented a Dvorak piece and Colin showed his understanding of the bagpipes, which he acquired over centuries, most impressively with the unofficial Scottish anthem Scotland the Brave.
They tailor arranged Sting’s Englishpaar in Deutschland – we are aliens, schwarz und weiße Aliens (we are aliens, black and white aliens). In between, Rebecca and Colin told us all kinds of anecdotes: we got to learn that Russian is simply English spoken backwards, British Gin&Tonic tea time at 6 pm is often done without the Tonic and Colin convinced with the naked truth that Scotsmen wear nothing but a small bagpipe under their kilts.
The audience was won over hearing the tones that Rebecca produced with the cello and her own vocal cords. Without NOT having seen it, it is impossible to not assume a trumpet on stage when she imitates its sound. Colin’s bass and his impressive compass of a voice impressed no less, as did the virtuosity with which the duo let their faces tell stories.
Helmut Bär was right when he said that he did nothing wrong to invite Carrington-Brown to Wilhelmshaven for the third time. Because even though Colin thought that people from Wilhelmshaven are a little shy and reserved, the audience was well up to belt out Wild Rover instead of An der Nordseeküste - and this after only a very short rehearsal.
(Translation of an article in Wilhelmshavener Zeitung)
If you’re looking for something to make you stand out the comedy circuit, you could do a lot worse than a 300-year-old cello, mounted on its own stiletto spike. Rebecca Carrington is a classically trained musician, with stints at the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony orchestras under her under her belt, but who likes to moonlight from the genteel world of the chamber orchestra for the more earthy delights of comedy. And boy is she talented. Not only is she a virtuoso at her instrument, she has a rich, wide-ranging voice, and an energetic, confidence stage manner that sweeps all before it. This appealing package gives her a great advantage; it’s easy for an audience to fall a little bit in love with an attractive woman, expertly playing rich, emotive music and providing her own mellifluous vocals. Even if she does almost immediately destroy the magic by making a tit of herself for comic effect. Her stock-in-trade is to give the rich orchestral treatment to the latest in disposable bubblegum pop by the likes of Beyonce or Madonna, only for the piece to fall apart as she abandons her cello for some rather silly dancing. This always gets a laugh as recognition of the track slowly dawns, but it’s a technique she has tendency to overuse, repeating the same gag time and again.
Similarly the conceit that her instrument, which she nicknames Joe, is her lover wears thin; and you could make an argument for the fact her comedy relies on very broad national stereotypes of the Scottish, the Spanish and the French to name but three. It’s almost Allo Allo with strings. But that’s to miss the point. Despite the presence of a cello that screams ‘culture’, this is not sophisticated high comedy. Instead, it’s a bit of variety-hall knockabout, and hugely entertaining for that.
Carrington is a brilliant vocal mimic, and can persuade ‘Joe’ to impersonate almost any instrument on demand – and the vignettes they so skilfully recreate provide an irresistible lift to any show.
Rebecca Carrington is a comedian of a different breed. Not your standard run-of-the-mill stand-up who waxes relentlessly about life's little foibles and inconsistencies into a microphone. For starters, she enters the stand-up subcategory of 'comedian with an instrument' but again this isn't an act that just parodies popular tunes on a guitar or sings a funny song. Carrington comes to the stage with an education that extends further than just the school of life or busking in Covent Garden for she is a classically trained cellist. This should not come as much of a surprise as her show is entitled Me And My Cello.
Having studied at The Royal Northern College of Music then completing her Masters of Music at Rice University in Houston, USA she went on to perform with orchestras such as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia and the BBC Symphony. It was while she was in the US that Carrington first tried her hand at the comedy circuit and performed her cabaret style act at various clubs then won the Mastercard Talent Search and got showcased on NBC and CBS. Her current show was a sell-out at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe.
Again I feel the need to set Carrington aside from her contemporaries because many acts who wield guitars tend to use them as a means to extend their set; quite often those acts that lack the oral stamina or verve and rely on their instrument to save them. Carrington's cello is more than just a comedy prop but an integral part of her act. They are, for all accounts, a double act with 'Joe' (yes, it has a name) playing the silent straight man.
Me And My Cello is an account of their life together and how the got where they are today from the classics to comedy. She mixes all veins of comedy throughout the act: innuendo, observation, self-referential, impressionism, parody and so forth displaying a natural versatility in the comedic art that keeps the material fresh and, at most points, unpredictable. Then, appropriately placed in each chapter is an exceptional interlude of varying musical styles.
As Carrington accounts their journey from country to country trying to find their place in the musical World so does Joe. They depict their unsatisfying contribution to standard orchestras and small groups which forces their search and then is able to manipulate Joe's abilities to fit with native instruments (even the bagpipes at one point) and musical styles. Amongst them are French jazz, Bulgarian folk, Flamenco, Blues and more as they travel across Europe, Asia, India and America. With each stop she delivers a humorous dialogue and cultural rendition before the 'proper' celebration of that nation's musical heritage with Joe and her astonishing vocal talents.
Carrington is an all-round class act who manages to perfectly mix highbrow and popular culture into an engaging and funny show. She truly deserves the accolade of, 'Victor Borge of the 21st Century.
Edinburgh Festivals "The Scotsman"
THE GORGEOUS, talented and very funny Rebecca Carrington takes us around the world on a journey - accompanied by her long-term partner, Jo, her 224-year-old cello, to whom she tries to introduce diverse musical cultures.
First she has to break out of the orchestra and string quartet - allowance, one to five notes a day - via Classic FM. Then comes the experience of sitting behind the bulk of Pavarotti while he sings a street-cred translated version of Nessun Dorma - how could one have missed before the fact that the culminating line is "Tiramisu"? Finally released from drudgery, she and Jo dip into Scottish piping, Irish jigs, Bulgarian polyrhythms, Indian sitar, French chanson and more.
Never one to be perturbed by the natives' incredulity that she and Jo are capable of playing their music, Rebecca has a bash at everything she encounters, with great aplomb. And she gets away with it - her rendition of the classic folk song Waly Waly over one of Bach's unaccompanied cello suites is a tour-de-force.
Aided by big mobile eyes, natural ham-it-up acting ability - she's as nifty with witty one-liners as she is at imitating styles from China to Brazil - she creates a great show: a Joyce Grenfell character for the 21st century. The closing sung version of Chopin's Minute Waltz deserves a place in musical history.