With summer drawn to a close and the kids back at school, you would be forgiven for not expecting too much of a Tuesday night out on the town. Well, with an all-singing, all-dancing, all-instrument playing and roller skating cast The Macs’ ‘The World Goes ‘Round’ first performed in Belfast on Tuesday 4th September, is here to change your mind.
Based on Broadway and songs written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, a live band and 5 multi-talented and multi-faceted actor musicians take to a 1920’s style stage, with table service for front row fans. We heard hits from Chicago, Cabaret and the Rink, but as one woman whispered beside us, ‘I don’t know half these songs, but I love them all’. We could only agree.
Each cast member switches between instruments, dance routines and facades – and at one point – rollerblades, making it all the more challenging to choose a favourite. Will Arundell’s rendition of ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ weaved a haunting and powerful performance that won’t be quickly swiped away from anyones memory; Aveen Biddle introduced us to ‘Arthur in the Afternoon’ and ‘Ring Them Bells’, with so much of her own energy, excitement and originality she could give Ms Minelli a run for her money. Carolyn Maitland’s ‘Maybe This Time’ was a show stopper and a bit of a heart stopper as she hit the highest notes as if they were no big deal ; Stephanie McConville’s ‘Cabaret’ and ‘All That Jazz’ were stand-up-in-awe and sit-down-in-astonishment performances. Connor McFarlane was born to sing ‘Mr Cellophane’ – clearly, and ‘Sara Lee’ offered a superb slapstick respite from the rest of his more serious, and seriously good numbers.
Caught up in the Coloured Lights, you really could have been in an 1920’s jazz club listening to authentic American singers and musicians. But there’s no prohibition here, just five extremely talented UK folk sharing a stage until the end of September, paying homage to the greats and allowing you to pay to see it all for only £12.50-£25 per ticket – a bargain in Broadway.
So if the world goes round as much as they claim it does, then bring on Round 2, 3, 4 and more – we’re ready for it.
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Author: Anna Louise Crockard