This intimate homage to the stage musical from Brighton-based Elevation Productions starts with mini toeches shining on the tap dancing feet of Edwin Ray, and on his saxophone-playing life-long friend Emma Jane Morton – in their tribute to A Chorus Line.
It’s a terrific opening to 75 minutes of high octane singing, dancing, instrument playing and chat all with the required maximum of what show people call “tits and teeth”.
This up tempo introduction to the business we call show has the two performers giving never less than 110 per cent effort and enthusiasm – filling the small cabaret club style venue with movement and sheer joy.
They treat us to solos and duets from Half a Sixpence, Me and My Girl, Anything Goes, Little Shop of Horrors, The Drowsy Chaperone, and even White Christmas – to name only a few.
Edwin is a truly amazing dancer and his athletic, balletic and sometimes touchingly sensitive moves set a great tone. Emma seems to be able to play every instrument going and in I Don’ t Want to Show Up she plays sax, flute, clarinet, oboe and accordion, while singing and dancing in between times.
They move easily between high octane Broadway belters and more subtle offerings and in I Love a Piano they even tap dance sitting down.
Their immense talent needs to slow down a little because the frenetic pace sometimes relies on over-use of props which detract from their amazing song and dance talent.
An outside director looking at their material would I am sure cut the biographical chat and the “why we love theatre and why it’s our life” stuff – which teeters on the edge of cheesiness in my view.
But what they really need is a bigger stage to play on. They are phenomenally talented and loveable and I predict a big break is round the corner. So in the words of another song “Hey Mr Producer, I’m talking to you sir” discover them.
They are accompanied by a very talented trio of musicians – Caroline Stephenson, Jack Summerfield and Michael Currie.
Two Singular Sensations was playing at the Purple Playhouse, Hove. Its run has ended.
TWO SINGULAR SENSATIONS
Presented by Elevation Productions
Venue: Purple Playhouse Theatre, Hove
Date of performance: May 13
Reviewed by: Brian Butler