It’s lucky the circus-like tent that forms The Assembly Rooms’ Bijou venue is held down well, otherwise the sheer power of Jess Robinson’s vocals would surely blow it away.
The singer and impressionist, who you may have seen dazzling the judges on Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago on her run to the semi-finals, can do it all from Shakira to Shirley Bassey.
But it’s perhaps her own voice that comes over as the most impressive in her latest show, The Jess Robinson Experience.
Backed by her fantastically-named band Jessington World of Adventures, the sensational singer and naturally funny performer runs through a polished hour that not only features celebrity mimicking but a lot of her own personal backstory.
On the celeb side of things, highlights of the show include her rendition of A Star Is Born song Shallow, performed in the voices of all three versions of the film’s female leads – Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Lady Gaga.
There’s also a hilarious and spot-on Kate Bush fever dream midway through, starring band member Michael in a leading role, and later a roll call of top notch imitations that all more than pass muster.
Jess is vastly starring as herself throughout, though, and we hear about her home town (in the form of a rap, she’s straight outta Aldbury, Hertfordshire), as well as how she connected with other Jess Robinsons of the world online and how she found her voice as a child, singing with her Grandma Rosie.
Rosie is name-checked throughout, and the reason for this becomes clear when a visibly emotional Jess delivers a stunning, tear-jerking and timely song in her honour towards the end of the show.
Overall this show certainly fits the billing of an experience. The impressions are great and the songs perfectly crafted. Jess and the band are clearly having a ball on stage and that extends to the audience – you’ll definitely end up laughing and maybe even crying along.