Jazz Emu: Knight Fever Review

Soho Theatre – until 22 June 2024

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


It’s the night of the Royal Variety Performance, and we are down in the basement for an open dress rehearsal as Jazz Emu tries to find the perfect song that will win him a knighthood. Apparently, that’s how it works, but unfortunately the evil Kelly Clarkson is also performing, and some unfortunate allegations about him are surfacing, so Jazz’s chances are looking slim.

New to the insane world of Jazz Emu (Archie Henderson), I didn’t know what to expect, but the loveable nonsense makes for a brilliant hour of musical comedy. With a huge ego and an enormous lack of self-knowledge, but also an endearing hapless silliness – imagine the offspring of Liz Truss and Andrew Tate raised by Flight of the Conchords – Jazz Emu is a fantastic entertaining character.

Jazz is a team player – he even sings about how he’s the best at that – and backed by The Cosmique Perfectión in Sergeant Pepperesque outfits, the music is infectiously upbeat with a plethora of earworms. I have had Still Waiting and My Brothe on loop for an unhealthy amount of time today. The hilarious songs are enough to create a memorable show, but Jazz’s quest for the knighthood (and the Royal Pardon that comes along with it) allows for some great bits that weave together to create a weird narrative including his battle to switch Siri to a less annoying mode, an internet scam and a sinister PR agent. Absolutely bonkers.

A bizarre and brilliant hour of toe-tapping and side-splitting nonsense. Trust me, you’ll love it!

Jazz Emu’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe show will be at the Pleasance 31st Jul – 25th Aug https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/jazz-emu-knight-fever

He will be touring in February/March 2025