Review: An Audience With Sally Morgan
LOTTIE UNWIN thinks Sally Morgan has no more psychic powers than she does.
Corn Exchange, 18th January, 7.30, £18.
The atmosphere in the Corn Exchange last night was like a right wing church in the U.S with an audience of Coronation Street fans. The huge screen was awash with projected stars as we were told by a mystical voice that while nothing in the show had been scientifically proven, nothing had been disproven. As if to qualify the statement the most well respected members of British society – Kim Marsh, Lady Victoria Hervey and Danny Dyer – hand on heart vouched their complete confidence in Sally.
The woman herself is like a patronising Fairy Godmother, morbidly larger than life in character and figure, that you want to grant your wishes and fuck off fast. Her face was so screwed into a look of concern it got stuck that way, occasionally animated by her cackle like laugh or stifled sobs. The notion that anyone with special powers to dish out would ever send some her way is ridiculous enough in itself.
Sally said completely random names and looked around long enough for someone to stand up and say they once knew called that. After guessing at some really sketchy details Sally would say, Darling, *Bob/Anne/Pat/Derek* (Insert ‘generic Caucasian name, popular with parents 30 years ago’ here) loves you, darling, and will be with you to the end of time, darling. Sometimes she blew some kisses to those whose parents had died or whose children had committed suicide and I tried not to chunder.
At least half the time when asked if they knew a Helen or Chris or Donna or whoever the man or woman with a mike would say no bluntly. Medieval archers who missed the target apple on someone’s head were classed as a fail, so why have the stakes to a hit rate of about one in three today? There is no magic in a few highly likely coincidences.
I find it very difficult to put myself in the deluded shoes of someone who believes there is truth in Sally’s pile of wank. For the few seconds I can manage, but I still fail to see how it would be a good night. The format is incredibly repetitive, with no moments of any wonder (obviously) and only a few tears. Instead the sole attraction for the audience is the hope that Sally might have a message for them. Sally and the marketing team around her have realized that death is a lucrative business and there is a big market if your product is comfort for grieving people. It’s a vast money making empire at £18 a seat with a tonne of merchandise on sale.
Is it exploitative? Yes, if she is relying on an over active imagination, which is disgraceful. Otherwise, she believes she chats to ghosts every night and should be locked up.
I can tell you your dead relatives love you and everything will be ok. See, I just did, regardless of whether or not I think it’s true – there is nothing wrong in giving or yearning for some words of comfort. If you want those words to come from a fat Fairy Godmother dressed in a velvet curtain who will call you poppet jump right on Sally Morgan’s band wagon of lies.