REVIEW: All That Malarkey beside the seaside at Bognor Regis
Even the name has a certain eccentric deliciousness about it: All That Malarkey.
There is a sense of the madcap; or some foolish exuberance in the title which immediately puts you at your ease.
‘Malarkey’ is said to be a US piece of slang dating from the roaring Twenties and it’s a mood that pervades this lovely piece of self-styled camp classical cabaret.
The group of five called into The Alexandra Theatre at Bognor Regis on Saturday and appropriately branded the show ‘Beside the Seaside’ - with a Beach Boys medley and a rendition of Sailing lending some substance to the theme.
The addition of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ might have been a reality check.
They had some local guests too. The Art of Dance and Fitness Adult Choir brilliantly filled the stage for two extended interludes, while three young singers Lily Barkes, Charlotte Horn and Ella McKimm gave a breathtakingly beautiful rendition of Hushabye Mountain from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
It’s a sense of Malarkey’s maturity that they are happy to share the stage with great local amateurs.
But this is a group who need have no self-confidence doubts. They are all classically trained and blend spine-tingling masterpieces with sugary disco pop from the 1990s.
David George Harrington pulls it all together as he plays his heart out on the piano with a non-stop energy that suggests he’s rehearsing for a Guinness Book of Records chapter headline.
The four singers dazzle. Andrew Horton, who looks like a young Tom Cruise, brings a real boyish humour to the proceedings.
The group is at its best with its less complex interpretations - but no matter how radical the arrangement they bring a warmth and humour to the whole proceedings.
They will be in Chichester on December 20 at St John’s Chapel for a Christmas selection. This is a group on the verge of greatness. Tickets priced £12 for the festive show are a steal.