The Londoness


Born in Paris.

Made in London.

Teller of London Tales.

More is More: Miss Hope Springs at Wigmore Hall

Miss Hope Springs sashays over to us in ruby red sequins as I arrive in her dressing room, complete with Steinway piano, at the Wigmore Hall. She’s composed and gracious, ready for her premiere on a stage which is world-revered for its classical music repertoire. But today, the Wigmore goes cabaret, more Las Vegas than van Beethoven. There’s a chanteuse  and a raconteuse  in town. Her eyes are lashed, her tresses are back-coiffed, and she’s about to rock the house.

Miss Hope Springs, Wigmore Hall London, cabaret music, chamber music, classical music

Miss Hope Springs shows us how it’s done. My friend Jarod is on the right.

Viva las Vegas

I’m not a Hope Springs novice. She’s a regular at Brasserie Zédel, and I’ve been a fan for some years. I took my daughters and my 70-year-old aunt to one of her shows, and they thought she was darling. What’s not to love? She’s fun, she’s sassy, she’s smart, and she can write a damn good lyric.

Miss Hope Springs, Wigmore Hall London, cabaret music, chamber music, classical music

Image: Olivier Tafforin

It’s such a shame she ain’t real. Miss Hope is the alter ego of songwriter and classically-trained pianist Ty Jeffries, son of actor and film director Lionel Jeffries. Aged seven and living in Los Angeles, Ty was tapping down Sunset Boulevard with Fred Astaire and hanging out with Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine.

Miss Hope Springs, Wigmore Hall London, cabaret music, chamber music, classical music

Miss Hope Springs and some of her many “admirers”: Ray Charles, Noel Coward and Barry Manilow.

 

In 2010, Ty created Hope, a sequinned, blonde bombshell who started her career performing in the Pink Pelican Casino in Las Vegas. Her showgirl days came to an end when she was fired (“I was too womanly for the skimpy costumes”). It wasn’t long before she bumped into Ray Charles who got her a gig at the Starlight Lounge and who advised her to make the most of her assets. She dated Burt Bacharach, and she tells us Barry Manilow was head over heels in love with her. Noel Coward penned a tune which Miss Hope croons to the Wigmore Hall audience: Please don’t Desert us at Dessert.  Coward had “beautiful, understated masculine energy,” purrs Hope, and “the same goes for Liberace.”

The Devil is in the detail

Ty Jeffries spends two hours morphing into his “halter” ego, Hope Springs. When Hope steps out, she chats to the audience, we hear her Vegas to Paris to London stories, and it doesn’t take long to fall in love. She tickles the ivories and sings self-penned favourites such as A Seedy Little Nightclub in Pigalle and The Devil made me do it,  also title of her new album. In-between the comedy, there’s also sadness and beauty in an ode to songwriter, Michel Legrand, which brings a tear to our eyes.

Miss Hope Springs, Wigmore Hall London, cabaret music, chamber music, classical music

Image: Olivier Tafforin

She dazzled. She made us cry and giggle in the space of a short hour. And behind all the glitter and the silliness, there’s some serious retro-glamour talent. Now if only we could get her to duet with Barbra, Burt, Bette or Bassey.

Miss Hope Springs is on tour, heading to Bath and Deal before returning to London for a two-hour show at Wilton’s Music Hall on the 12th and 13th July.

About the Wigmore Hall

Miss Hope Springs, Wigmore Hall London, cabaret music, chamber music, classical music

The Wigmore Hall is one of the world’s leading venues for chamber music and song.  The season includes approximately 400 performances with a range of Lieder, classical music, opera, jazz, masterclasses and educational programs. The Monday lunchtime concert is transmitted live on BBC3.

Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP   Nearest tube:  Bond Street

Feature image: Zoe Hunn

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Diana, Princess of Wales, London

Born in Paris. Made in London. Teller of London Tales.

6 Comments

  • Miss Hope Springs

    August 6, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Dear Scarlett
    At last my kitten heeled feet are back on terra firma after the tour and I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for such a lovely review and behind the scenes look of what was for me a very special night. It was so great to properly meet you at last and gorgeous Jarod too. Do let me know any time when you’d like to come and see the show again I will do you a couple of comps as a thank you. Wigmore have invited me back… but lots of shows in London and beyond before then.
    So many thanks again for your very generous words.
    Lots of love Hope xx
    ( PS am I doing a duck face?)

    Reply
  • Louise Riis

    June 25, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    This is so funny! Frenchie and I just passed Wigmore Hall the other day and talked about what it actually was! We didn’t really know if it was a hotel, restaurant, entertaining place or … you name it! Well you did name it! So thank you for that! Wow, Im jealous! Looks like it was a great evening (and I love your outfit as well)
    X Louise

    Reply

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