BRIGHTON FRINGE REVIEW: Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus: The Superhero Show

The Superhero Show, Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) contribution to the Brighton Fringe on Saturday evening (May 6), was a feast of musical excellence and performance with first class production values.

A beautifully constructed programme presented the many and varied talents of the BGMC to an enthusiastic audience of friends and supporters in St Georges Church, Kemptown.

There was something for everybody;….. funny short monologues written and performed by Charlie Bedson, Graeme Clark, Jon Taylor, Mike Tietz, Stephen TuckerPeter vanDoorn and Andy Williams;…. the best collective set of solo performances I can remember in a single BGMC show from Chris BakerCharlie BedsonGraeme ClarkDean Cowlard, Rod Edmunds, David Stoakes, Jon Taylor and Sadao Ueda;….and some new choral arrangements that really highlighted how technically proficient this chorus is.

Tim’s Nails arrangements of Kylie’s Can’t get you out of my head and Carole King’s Tapestry were of the highest quality and along with The Prisoners’ Chorus from Beethoven’s Fidelio showed the chorus’ ensemble skills off to the maximum.

Highlight of the evening for me was the stunning performance of MacArthur Park, (another Tim Nail arrangement) featuring a superb vocal from Charlie Bedson who completely captured the mood of the Donna Summer classic.

I believed every word in Sadao Ueda’s beautifully phrased version of Hero, while Chris Baker really got to the heart of lyric in his believable, tender interpretation of Neverland, from Netherland the Musical.

Dean Cowlard’s Desperado was haunting and beautiful and oh!, the irony of Pulp’s Common People, being sung to a mainly gay audience in Kemptown of all places by Jon Taylor. He clearly enjoyed singing it as much as I enjoyed listening.

The chorus were quite magnificent throughout the evening and changed for the second half of the show into the costumes of their favourite Superheros.

The front row of the chorus, all potential soloists in their own right have been drilled into a first class music machine by their talented musical director Marc Yarrow who has moulded them to sing for the benefit of the chorus, rather than themselves.

However, it should not be underestimated how important to the success of the chorus is the contribution of the accompanist, Tim Nail whose orchestral style accompanying not only holds the ensemble together, but whose arrangements bring a touch of class to the total musical package on offer.

The staging and production were the ‘icing on the cake’, beautifully presented by creative director Quintin Young whose attention to detail left nothing to chance.

My only tiny, tiny criticism is that hearing Desperado and Neverland sung by soloists dressed in Superhero costumes was a little odd and both numbers might have been better scheduled in the first half before the costume changes.

Well done to everyone both front of house and behind the scenes at the BGMC for another fine evening of first class music making, while raising money for the Sussex Beacon.

You can next hear the chorus sing at 7.30pm on July 28 and 29 at St Georges Church, Kemptown, in their Brighton Pride production, Show Time.

For more information and to book tickets for Show Time, click here:

If you would like to join the chorus they will be holding a new members evening at 7.30pm on Tuesday, May 16 at the Brighton Unitarian Church, New Road, Brighton.

Membership is open to anyone who self-identifies as a gay or gay-friendly man. For more information, email Chris: membership@brightongmc.org

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