- Theatre review: RENT – 20th Anniversary – St James Theatre, London - 18 December, 2016
- Side Show: The Musical – Review – 4 Vada Stars - 13 November, 2016
- Theatre review: Murder Ballad @ Arts Theatre, London West End - 27 October, 2016
MOSAIC, the new event in Kingston Upon Thames hosted by Our Friends Records, is definitely a night not to be missed. Having been invited to the launch last month, and then attending the evening again this week, it is obvious that this night will soon be massive – a definite must for your diary.
This week, Our Friends Records offered us music, art, poetry, comedy, dance and theatre. With such a broad scope of entertainment on offer, it’s difficult not to compare one to the next. Here’s how the night went:
The stage was first graced by the aptly named Jack Grace and his acoustic guitar. Naturally, artists always promote themselves as original and different – ‘This is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before…’ – and usually, it’s just another indie band or deluded artist telling themselves that they are in fact original and different. Here, however, is real originality. Jack Grace’s performance combined raw vulnerability, youthful innocence, and innovative use of voice to create something truly fascinating to watch and listen to.
He definitely set a high bar for the evening with a spectacle that belongs on an arena stage. The acts that followed had a lot to live up to – some of whom managed this.
Sticking with music, Jack Goo presented us with his latest work, paired with comically crass and crude choreography by StemKU Dance led by Selina Welter. It was great to watch. When Goo first took to the stage there was a sense that he was simply filling time with some oddly chosen choice phrases escaping his mouth into the microphone, but suddenly we were found pens down, mouths open, and laughter ringing around the venue. This odd interlude was then broken when he picked up his guitar and played, whilst StemKU energetically danced around the stage. It was a combination that oddly worked.
Next up, comedy. Listening to new comedy can always be either a painful experience or a ‘diamond in the rough’ moment when you happen to be at the very first gig of a comic that will soon be filling arenas. However, here, I’m afraid to say that the comedy offered by Sheraz and friends was a little hit and miss. The compere had a natural and comfortable ability with some situational based comedy and a friendly tone which led us from short act to act. Some moments were great, but there were a few of the ‘Oh… Nobody laughed…’ parts too. Credit in the comedy has to go to Siobhan Dodd and Russ Monkey however. Dodd’s crude ‘naughty girl’ act seemed to keep the room laughing, and Russ delivered some slower paced ‘I’m the older guy’ wise cracks, both gaining the comedy section some positive praise.
Theatre came in the form of a byMoonlight Theatre Company’s short Pinter sketch. It was definitely a little rough-and-ready and had the air of needing a few more rehearsals, and yet, Turan Duncan and Wayne Hughes delivered the lines with great comic precision and timing that kept the room alive.
These few minutes of laughter were short-lived however when we came to the poetry section. So far in the evening, the combination of certain acts had worked well, such as music alongside dance. The poetry section would definitely be something to look at partnering in future with theatre, art, or music. Courtesy of Eyewear Publishing, the poems were read by Jon Stone and Kirsten Irving. Although their poems were of literary credit, performativity was lacking the spark needed to keep the momentum going for the evening. Having the poems read between acts would have kept the audience interested and created nice interludes whilst acts set up, but a solid twenty minutes of poem read aloud, not performed, slowed the event down.
The saviours and headliners of MOSAIC definitely brought the momentum back up to lightspeed when Tankus The Henge and The General took to the stage. Tankus the Henge’s frontman took to the piano with some amazing renditions of the band’s apocalyptic, carnival-esque, rock and roll songs, including my personal favourite ‘You Can Do Anything’ which really brought the Rose Theatre to life. Tankus the Henge then passed the lively baton to The General who gave us some great music to finish the night off with. Credit to the boys here! Finally, Our Friends Records’ very own DJ Rumpstepper played out the night with some brilliant Electro Swing mixes…
MOSAIC is exactly what it says on the tin… a mish-mash of art in all forms packed into one night. Our Friends Records (www.ourfriendsrecords.com) have done a great job in sourcing this talent and offering it to the public of South West London. Make sure you take a trip to The Rose Theatre in Kingston next time to experience MOSAIC and a real eclectic mix of entertainment!