Music and comedy; two things that are notoriously hard to do well. When you combine the two, you may be starting to ask for the impossible. But for some, this is their bread and butter; no one can have any doubt of how talented performers such as Tim Minchin – whose musical adaptation of Rohald Dahl’s “Matilda” is truly incredible – are. For one night only, eight varied and talented performers took to the stage at Chapel off Chapel for “One Night Stand: A Musical Comedy Showcase”.
Headlined by former Scared Weird Little Guy (although he’s still quite weird) Rusty Berther, Andy Moratis, Elena Gabrielle (as Virginia Poppycock), Rohan Windle, Melinda King, Darren Freak, Stew Walker (who also had a hand in organising the event) and Claire Healy enchanted the audience for a little over ninety minutes. A diverse selection, with something to satisfy everyone’s palate, though to my mind some of the obviously skilled performer’s humour was diminished slightly by repeating material. It is a big ask that every single performance be unique, and the material was still strong and amusing; anyone who hadn’t seen it before was doubled over, and those of us who had could still enjoy it.
Despite my having called attention to it, I still found Virginia Poppycock singing “Durex Are A Girl’s Best Friend” amusing; I’d heard it before, but in an entirely different context, so it still seemed slightly fresh. Stew Walker’s ode to Dad jokes was thoroughly endearing, and worth the occasional groan-worthy pun. A definite highlight for me was Claire Healy; a love song about how she loves her partner more than upgrading to Business Class, and an adventurous ballad about the ALDI Aisle of Wonder. Utterly brilliant. Rusty was a charming headliner, everyone in the audience’s mate.
Andy Moratis gave a commendable Schwarznegger impersonation, but I felt that his mash-up of “The Govenator” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was a little bit dated…actually, quite a few of the performers made similar jokes; is that still a popular reference? I’m the first to admit I could just be being a pop culture snob, but, well, we ARE Pop Culture-y… That having been said, he was a very confident presence on stage, and an excellent guitarist.
Rohan Windless presented a whimsical salute to the periodic table, Darren Freak (yes, that’s his real name) waxed lyrical about possible perils of online dating. Both were relaxed and comfortable, and the audience were quickly won over. Melinda King took to the stage like a Valkyrie with a ukulele with an ode to the vox populi; writing on the bathroom wall.
At times, hit and miss, but in all, a very entertaining evening from some very skilled performers.