BRIGHTON FRINGE REVIEW: Rainbow Chorus – Can’t take my eyes off you

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Rainbow Chorus’ contribution to this years Brighton Fringe, was a musical collaboration with the Yorkshire based six strong a capella singing group Deep C Divas.

The show opened with Shosholoza and Siahamba, two numbers of African origin which presented the Rainbow Chorus at its infectious best and put the audience in a positive frame of mind – followed by a clever arrangement of Wonderful Word/I Love You, fast becoming a Rainbow Chorus signature number. Soloists Caroline Pearce and Paul Shuttleworth were excellent and captured the emotion of the merged numbers.

The rest of the first half was handed over to the Deep C Divas who opened their set with a haunting and powerful arrangement of Linda Perry’s Beautiful, presenting a capella discipline at its very best. Other highlights of their set included; Billy Joel’s And So It Goes and a first class performance of Holly Near’s Uh Huh. They had all the audience humming along to the Ashford & Simpson You’re all I need to get by and finished their set by capturing all the essential comedy moments in Amy Carol Webb’s These are my own.

I personally felt their set would have benefitted by being split into two halves and maybe they should have opened the evening because the sound of just six voices was for a time lost in the excitement created by the African numbers from the Rainbow Chorus that opened the first half. 

It took a while for the audience to re-adjust to the exposed, unaccompanied voices of the Deep C Divas. However, that is a programming issue and should not detract from the fact that the Deep C Divas are an accomplished singing group who sang beautifully together in a huge church and brought a little Diva magic to each of the numbers they performed.

The second half was more of a collaboration between the two choirs. Rainbow Chorus gave stirring performances of Queen’s Under Pressure and Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five before joining with Deep C Divas in the night’s signature song Cant’ take my eyes off you, the anthemic Hand in hand and the optimistic Russian Eurovision song contest entry in 2015, A million voices. If only the sentiments of the song were actually happening in Russian and Chechnya today, the world would be a better and safer place for LGBT+ people.

All second half numbers presented the Rainbow Chorus at its very best. They love singing and successfully communicate that to their audience. Their few rough edges become insignificant because it is so uplifting to just sit back, listen to them and bask in the joy they create.

The Rainbow Chorus is a reflection of the personality of its musical director Aneesa Chaudhry who is the essential link between the singer and the audience. She brings the very best out of this group of singers and is ably supported on piano by Mojca Monte whose style of accompanying is perfectly suited to this chorus.

The evening was beautifully BSL Interpreted by Marco Nardi who was a delight to watch and whose contribution added to the overall joy this evening generated.

The next Rainbow Chorus concert Classics to Classical in on Saturday, July 15 at St George’s Church, in Kemptown.

For more information about Rainbow Chorus, click here:

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