Virgin is a fitting star vehicle for Simon David, an ambitious virtuoso who’s unlucky in love. With a diva’s belt and a lot of ambition, this intimate cabaret showcases his many talents in a series of songs and stories inspired by unsuccessful attempts at love.
“You are about to witness a true star” is the promise made in the opening moments of Virgin. The lights come up, the band begins to play, and we meet Simon David: a drama school graduate with a diva’s belt and a whole lot of ambition. The only thing standing between him and stardom is a record deal, and he plans to use his virginity as a very unique selling point. The show acts as a sizzle reel, showing off his many talents in a series of songs and stories inspired by David’s unsuccessful attempts at romance (“cut down from seven hours to one”).
In this intimate cabaret in Theatre 2 at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, David and his three-piece band take the audience on a journey of first love and gay dating culture. An incredibly talented virtuoso, he impresses with his skill on saxophone, piano and the accordion during the course of the show.
The music in Virgin is delightfully well suited to the cabaret format; upbeat with simple hooks for the audience to sing along to – something which David encourages, right from the start. ‘Are You F**king Kidding Me?’ is an anthem for anyone who has had to watch the person who rejected them be happy with someone else – and a particular hit with the audience. David is also captivating in a soulful piano ballad towards the end of the show. The song reflects on the empowerment of moving on from a failed relationship, whilst showing off David’s lovely vocals.
For such a young performer, David holds the crowd well, but still shows moments of nervousness and loses momentum during a couple of physical gags. He lacks the finesse of a seasoned diva but I don’t doubt that this is something that will grow with experience. Sexual, or otherwise.