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Blink Twice!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Billed as a revue of songs from shows that flopped, Blink Twice is a mixed bag of unknown (to me anyway) and familiar songs from shows like Lloyd-Webber and Aykbourn’s ill fated By Jeeves, camp TV spin off Bad Girls, Schonberg and Boublil’s only failure Martin Guerre and Sherlock Holmes by the normally reliable Leslie Bricusse.

Directed and compiled by Tim McArthur with Peter Bull Blink Twice is performed by an enthusiastic young team comprised of; Anna Gilthorpe, Ashleigh Jones, Adam Lilley, Emma Lumsden and Reed Sinclair who give it all they’ve got. However this is not always enough to raise the songs chosen out of the realms of mediocrity. In fact some of them only serve to illustrate why the show didn’t survive.

The standard of the singing is of a good standard across the board, but some of these songs need a wider range and more colour than some of the relatively inexperienced cast are capable of. The youthful, eyes-and-teeth pizzazz of the performers rather steamrollers some of the songs which also seem to have been allocated on a very random basis. The result is a somewhat homogenous tone and dynamic to the whole show. The three girls particularly have very similar voices and performance styles.

The songs need more characterisation and intention, perhaps some explanation of the context of the song within the show and less cheesy choreography. Or perhaps more cheesy moves and real parody is what it needs? At the moment it is hard to tell when a song is being sent up and when treated with respect. The linking chat is also rather dull and perfunctory and added little to the evening. What about reading some of the hilariously awful reviews the shows got or recounting some amusing showbiz anecdotes?

The highlights of the evening for me are Reed Sinclair’s rendition of "Try to Remember" from the recently closed The Fantastics and "My Brother Lived" from Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens sung by Emma Lumsden, although she did stray into the realm of sentimentality. Blink Twice has flashes of star quality but on the whole it is a little lacklustre.

- Keith Myers


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