Written and Performed by Ty Jeffries





A review by Mary Couzens for EXTRA! EXTRA!


One woman's journey from the Ritz to the pits


Written and Performed by Ty Jeffries


Available now on



If any assault could be welcome, it would be this assault to the sensibilities, guaranteed to brighten the bleakest of days! Ty Jefferies’ sensationally under-stated, surprisingly poignant and funny one man show Miss Hope Springs…Recovering Showgirl forms the basis for this bumping (rather than grinding) collection, with its’ always in character, self-penned songs, seemingly personalised singing and canny musicianship which collectively make a welcome change of pace for the imagination as well as the listening ears.

You could say the songs that Ty Jeffries’ has composed and performs here in the guise of his female alter ego Miss Hope Springs harken back to earlier eras of popular music as sung by all manner of bar, lounge, casino and torch singers, drawing on songs ranging from Depression era Gershwin and Porter ( and Noel Coward) right up to that knowing mix of multi-era torch songs and Sondheim-esque narrative singing that we hear on the cabaret circuit today, with nods to Sinatra’s Rat Pack, Burt Bacharach and Michele Legrand movie music, perpetual favourites Kurt Weil, Jacques Brel and much more, in this case, all delivered from a feminine point of view, in the manner of divas like Peggy Lee and Dusty Springfield, but, more specifically, in the name of lesser known lounge singers like Jeffries’ creation, Miss Hope Springs. But such simplification would be selling Jeffries short, as his music, and, his Miss Hope are very much their own person/persona and in this case, listening (topped only by, seeing, as you’ll soon have a chance to do – details below) is definitely, believing.

Kicking off in spangly, chin up style with delightfully succinct, sprightly ‘Dance to the Music Inside’ Ty as Hope (or is it the other way around?) gently warbles us out of our blues and into Hope’s uniquely un-jaded world. What better reminder of just what a great songster Jeffries is could there be? You’ll smile just thinking about this infectiously upbeat, sensible song!

Don’t drop your standards girls, ‘Make the most of your assets,’ so Ty as Hope sings, accompanying himself on sparkling piano on ‘Assets’ a song good enough, (if not better) to be featured in any top musical. Though, I’m thinking Jeffries should definitely make a centrepiece of his world weary/doggedly optimistic Miss Hope in a larger scale show ASAP!

‘Portrait of a Love Affair in Blue’ is, as you might imagine, a more reflective affair, though it still offers lovely fragments of Miss Spring’s hope, via snippets of observation set against gleaming notes of nostalgia. Ty’s sensitive piano playing frames this lilting song beautifully.

Somewhere between Peggy Lee’s ‘Is That All There Is’ and Mitch Ryder’s ‘Sock It To Me Baby’ sits Ty’s intermittently melancholy and buoyant comic gem, ‘The Devil Made Me Do It.’ Not only does this versatile number show glimmers of Hope’s darker facets, but it cryptically laughs at the futility of feeling hopeless, in the manner of The Tiger Lilies.

What would life be without a good blues now and again? Jeffries supplies us with a bona fide torch song with his Hope singing ‘High Again Low Again Blues’.  Not only is he the perfect pianist for this song, as he skips across its’ lighter moments and skirts and/or kicks at the guttural, he also has the vocal range to hit those low down basement reverberating blue notes.

When the first Atlantic City Casinos opened, those gaming enough to hop buses from Philly to AC were granted ten bucks worth of quarters to throw at the slots and a free lunch, having spent $5.00 per return trip. ‘Casino’ seems to capture that sense of the tasteless and tacky meets blaringly new, though in this case Hope’s impassioned singing seemingly, mirrors her own experiences in that twenty-four hour twilight environment.

Straight on ballad ‘We’ve Got Each Other’ proves that Ty Jeffries has the capability to blend Gershwin and Porter with smidgens of Rogers and Hammerstein meet Lloyd Webber, just what the doctor ordered in this era of instant star-dumb. Given the right opportunity, Jeffries could well topple the West End’s long-running composing Dons right off their plinths.

Noel Coward tribute, ‘Please Don’t Desert Us at Dessert’ has a funny, frolicky feel to it, with lyrics Coward himself would have approved of. It’s great to hear an enjoyable song that doesn’t mince words or intent which pays homage to someone else who shared that thinking.

A trio of songs, ‘Burned by the Magic/Hello He Lied/ Jazz Waltz’, the latter of which smacks of Jack Jones’ cringe worthy ‘Wives and Lover’s type hits, (which my older sister loved) together take us on a journey through Hope’s earlier career, showing her skills (and Ty’s) as a torch singer, former heart-breaker and tribute maker as they encompass many of the styles from musical eras some of us have already danced, sung (and/or drunk) our way through.

‘Trog’ in tribute to Joan Crawford’s final film of the same name, is Jeffries’ most hilarious indulgence on this recording. There may be other laughs while listening to this CD, but none could be quite as raucous as this inspires. But as a former shy schoolgirl who admired Miss Crawford’s hutzpah no end, I can definitely dig it baby! Rhyming lyrics were never funnier - makes me sorry to have missed Jeffries’ Crawford show.

One of this collection’s most beautiful songs, ‘Aged Champagne’ is a woman’s answer to Sinatra’s (and Jimmy Durante’s) ‘September Song’, though the feelings the song expresses could apply to anyone who’s experienced the feeling of fading youth, especially as Ty/Hope sings it, as though she/he has lived it. ‘Once I was cherry wine, as sweet as April kisses….’

Drolly tongue in cheek, ’When your life is over and they close the coffin lid, You’ll regret the things you didn’t, rather than the things you did,’ that’s ‘You’ll Never Know,’ a song we can all relate to, especially as it has much more cryptic of a kick than most such songs. You’ll never know till you’ve tried.’ The same could be said of this CD. So go get your own copy of it – NOW!

Seeing us out is ‘Carnival’, and a beautifully colourful ending it makes with its’ lightly Piaf inflected singing and sad little truisms such as, ‘Without my makeup on, I’m frightened that I don’t exist,’ a line anyone who makes themselves up every day could easily identify with.

But therein lies the beauty of this enjoyable collection of songs, so expressively performed by Ty Jeffries as Miss Hope Springs - they’re for anyone who’s ever had a heart and, used it.   



CD available through: www.misshopesprings.com


See Ty Jeffries as Miss Hope Springs in his new show

Je m’appelle Hope


The Drill Hall

16 Chenies Street, London WC1E 7EX


16 March - 9 April at 8pm


(Wednesday – Saturday only, Sunday matinee on 3 April at 5pm)


£10 (£8 concessions)


Box office: 020 7307 5060 or drillhall.co.uk




The Marlborough Little Theatre


4 Princes Street, Brighton BN2 1RT


 12th-15th May at 9pm


£9 (£7 concessions)


Box office: 01203 709 709 

or brightonfestivalfringe.org.uk



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