Thursday, 1 December 2005

Oh Come All Ye Stressful ’05, Glynn Nicholas Group, Dec 1, 2005

Oh Come All Ye Stressful ’05 
By Glynn Nicholas Group
The Palms, Crown Casino, Melbourne, Dec 1 to 4, 9 & 10, 2005
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Dec 1, 2005

Glynn Nicholas produces and hosts Oh Come All Ye Stressful, a musical and comedy Christmas show at Crown.

Nicholas, in his inimitable laconic style, comperes the evening. He incorporates barbed comments for latecomers, occasional gentle audience participation and, of course, his impeccable mime skills.

The show begins slowly but gains momentum by the end of the first half. The second half could do with some cutting.

Oh Come All Ye Stressful is a variety show and Nicholas is joined on stage by other performers: the Voluptunes, The Kransky Sisters and Imogen Kelly.

Musical Director and pianist, Mark Jones, and his capable four-piece band, accompany each act. Jones’ patter does not meet the comic skill of Nicholas but his music is exceptional.

The focus of Nicholas’s verbal comedy is the stress of Christmas. The opening title song, includes the lyrics, Oh Come All Ye Stressful, Woeful and redundant.” Nicholas continues with witty references to desperate shoppers, children’s Chrissie dreams, crowds, exhaustion and over-eating.

His stroppy French waiter takes classical French mime and warps it into his own style. He brings a good-humoured young woman on stage to serve her his mime dinner in his mime restaurant and makes mileage out of mime objects, vocal sound effects and some funny business with a used handkerchief.

He reprises his hilarious, super-sized Melbourne copper, Sergeant Smith, who warns us of terrorists tampering with the Christmas turkey and crackers.

The Kransky Sisters are a huge hit with the audience. These three women are a comic cabaret trio who look like members of the Country Women’s Association in the 1950s and sing rock songs with arrangements in the style of the Salvation Army.

Psycho Killer and We Will Rock You were a knock-out and the Michael Jackson medley had people doubled over laughing.  Their deadpan delivery, weird characterisation and clever musicianship is a delight,  

The Voluptunes are the polar opposite of The Kranskys. These three singer-dancers are the sexy-pretty part of the show. They sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town and other Christmas classics. They should probably leave the comic business alone though and stick with the song and dance.

Aerialist, Imogen Kelly, performs a breath-taking act on the Tissu as well as a very strange Ziegfeld Follies style fan dance and a cheeky routine with lollypop.

Oh Come All Ye Stressful is entertaining Christmas fare. Try to sit in the front section for a better view.

By Kate Herbert

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