Fringe REVIEW: Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus @Brighton Fringe

Besi Besemar May 6, 2018

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus “boldly go where no one’s been before”¬†to save the Pink Planet and beat off the nasty Black Hole at St George Church, Kemptown. Where’s the vicar – I say no more!

GAYZ INTO SPACE marked Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus’ (BGMC) ninth consecutive appearance at the Brighton Fringe festival and once again this first class outfit delivered a professional, polished performance with just about something for everyone. I have come to expect nothing less.

The configuration of voices for this show would have benefitted from one or two more first tenors, but with resources stretched with their coming trip to sing in Various Voices in Munich, some singers had to choose between the two events to sing. The four first tenors appearing rose to the challenge magnificently holding their own at times against twelve second tenors.

The programme highlighted all the strengths of this chorus. Moon River perfectly capturing their ability to croon, while Kylie’s¬†Confide in me/Can’t get you out of my head displayed their ability to perform complex arrangements with ease. My personal favourite was Sadao Ueda’s punchy arrangement of Fight Song which showed the chorus off at their very best. This is how a male voice chorus should sound!

Soloists are always a highlight of any BGMC¬†show. Charlie Bedson, John Buckeridge, Rod Edmunds, Adam Betteridge and Nick Ford¬†were certainly up to the challenge. In a lovely secure performance, Adam took on the haunting and beautiful Gravity by Sara Bareilles, a fiendishly difficult number to sing, delivered with sensitivity not only to the music but also the words, while Nick’s performance of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song showed his huge voice, range and technique off to perfection. He was very impressive.

The musical team of Marc Yarrow and Tim Nail along with assistant musical director Joe Paxton consistently maintain this group of musicians at a very high level of performance and they rarely fail to deliver. Production was professional, sound and lighting were spot on as were the pastiche sketches telling the storyline of the show performed by Andrew Farr, Dean Cowlard, Paul Woodcock, Jez Kay, Graeme Clark and John Buckeridge.

You can next hear the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus perform at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton with the San Francisco Golden Gate Men’s Chorus on Saturday, June 30 at 7.30pm. Ticket cost ¬£35 and include a drink served in the Pavilions Banqueting Hall.

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