Review by Daz Gale
A TV legend across both sides of the Atlantic is making the leap to the stage as Sharon Osbourne brings her show Cut The Crap to the West End as part of a series of UK dates. No stranger to controversy over the years, the chance to see Sharon live and unfiltered was an opportunity too good to miss. Without the constraints of television guidelines and no watershed, she was free to be at her most honest and outrageous. But could her own stage show cut it, or would it be a bit, well, crap?
Known for being the manager and wife to Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon shot to fame herself when the family got their own rather iconic television series The Osbournes. Since then, she has been no stranger to our screens, becoming a judge on The X Factor and America’s Got Talent as well as a co-host on US series The Talk. Her life hasn’t been without its challenges though and in this show, she promises to delve into the highs and lows in some of her more challenging years.
The format of Cut The Crap saw Sharon Osbourne interviewed by her long-time friend and Loose Women panellist Jane Moore. Their personal relationship created a more informal affair which managed to blur the lines of a professional interview and two friends having a catch up, with Jane chipping in about her own stories and memories with Sharon. Over the course of 90 minutes, Sharon discussed everything from the start of her career, her father, her relationship with Ozzy and her TV career.
What was surprising about this show was Sharon herself. Known for being loud, brash and shocking, the most shocking part was how quiet and subdued she was. That didn’t detract from the impact of her stories and her unrivalled presence but did lend itself to a slightly more sombre and heartfelt affair. This was a woman whose controversial moments over the last few decades had created a wise and more reflective person – one whose every word the audience were captivated by.
Sharon’s stories and responses to Jane Moore’s questions were unashamedly raw, honest and unfiltered. To see someone speak so openly and candidly about their past struggles created a sense of intimacy which at times made you forget you were in a room with hundreds of other people. The way she spoke about husband Ozzy with such love and affection even when recounting some of the more horrific moments told you all you needed to know about this fierce woman, and the heartbreak in her voice when she spoke of him not being able to tour anymore due to his own health.
At times, Sharon did feel a bit reluctant to delve into certain matters. She pivoted away from the subject of X Factor nemesis Dannii Minogue several times before finally delivering a moment the audience had waited for when asked “Would you throw water on her?” brilliantly replied “I wouldn’t waste the water”. It was the moments of spontaneity that provided the greatest moments of the performance as the fire we all know Sharon Osbourne for came to the surface, but these moments were fewer and further between than you might expect, in what was a very different kind of show.
Different does not necessarily mean bad, however. Sharon Osbourne was here with a story to tell – her story, and very clearly she didn’t want to compromise the gravitas and emotion behind these nuggets from her life by making fun of them. While there were a few good laughs throughout, Cut The Crap was more about connecting with the audience as we got to know Sharon, learning about and understanding a life that wasn’t without its struggles, but with just as many triumphs.
Sharon’s frank nature about talking about her own dalliances with cosmetic surgery, personal struggles where she overdosed or the time Ozzy tried to kill her made quite heavy viewing at times, but then were mixed with asides such as her thoughts on the Kardashians and, in particular, comparisons to their matriarch Kris Jenner. It was hard not to feel sympathy when she told her side of the story about her downfall from her TV career in America, despite personal feelings on a complex matter. It was the heartfelt honesty that featured in every story she told, both uplifting and mortifying, that made the performance such a captivating one.
Perhaps Cut The Crap wasn’t the show I was expecting from Sharon Osbourne, but I found the whole thing quite refreshing. Hearing Sharon recall some of the most troubling times in her life may have been uncomfortable, but was fascinating to watch. Her ability to tell a story and abundance of personality creates an intriguing and mesmerising performance – not that there was any performing here, this was Sharon as herself, not amplified, not as a caricature, just in her truest form and that was pretty glorious. Even when she is at her most subdued, it is impossible to suppress that Sharon Osbourne charm. With a glint in her eye and a fire in her belly, she allowed the audience to get to know her better in a show that was impossible not to love.
Sharon Osbourne – Cut The Crap! plays at the Alexandra Birmingham on 24th February and returns for two more performances in the West End at the Fortune Theatre on 28th February. Tickets available here.
Photos by Elliott Franks