Turbine Theatre – 8 September 2020
Reviewed by Adam Craddock
When I got invited to review at the Turbine Theatre’s “Turbine on the Jetty” festival I jumped at the chance once again. I feel like this series of shows is so important for supporting our artists and trying to kick start our industry as quickly as we can, and the latest offering put up was exceptional. “The Final Countdown” – an 80’s rock and pop spectacular featuring music from artists including Toto, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper and many more was an absolute jam packed hour of precise harmonies, wailing rock falsettos and some of the best solos and duets of the era.
The show opened with the cast coming through the audience as with last weeks show at the festival and right from the off set the bar at an incredible height. Emma Hatton’s performance of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was brilliant, with her sharing a striking vocal doppelgänger to Ms Lauper that I had never realised before. The high notes that for anyone else would be a struggle came flying out with little to no effort. Truly impressive. The duet between Luke Walsh and Shekinah McFarlane was epic. Both were able to vocally match each other and give some absolute welly to an intense duet. Walsh in particular stood out with his seemingly never ending range. The group numbers were brilliant too, with harmonised versions of Africa and Living on a Prayer being performed to a very high standard indeed. The absolute highlight of the night for me though came nearer the end with the duet “Total Eclipse of the Heart” between Jodie Beth Meyer and Andrew Patrick Walker. The two shared a wonderful chemistry on stage and blended beautifully in the close harmony at the end. Walker sounded like he had been ripped straight off the track with his vocal and was absolutely incredible, while Meyer’s performance had a wonderful tenderness to it. Bravo to both of you!
All in all the show was brilliant and my only negative draw would be that at times the music and vocals from the speakers were just a bit too quiet. Being an outside performance you’re always going to face this issue of balancing and given that they were pop songs it did help to hear them if you knew them already, but there were times when this did distract me as I was trying to hear what was being sung from my seat half way to the back (no fault of the cast though, this was a purely technical problem in my honest opinion). But this did not take away from an exceptional night and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I would definitely recommend going to see these wonderful performers do their thing again if they ever decide to bring this show back.