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Cabaret Festival

Naomi Price: Rumour Has It

Cabaret Festival

If you’re an Adele fan and reluctant to go to a tribute show, think again. ‘Rumour Has It’ is a thoroughly entertaining celebration of the life and music of the UK megastar soul sensation.

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Created and written by Adam Brunes and musical theatre star Naomi Price (a 2015 finalist on The Voice), this is a moving, insightful and, at times, hilarious piece of cabaret.

If you’re going to take on Adele, you need a big voice and a big heart. Price has both.  Backed by the driving, thumping beat of drummer Mik Easterman and bass player Andrew Johnson, she captures the rich funk and soul of “Rumour Has It” and “Rolling in the Deep”.

Then, just when the audience has settled in for a predictable list of hits, Price turns the show on its head with a startling impersonation of Adele the person – always a surprising contrast to the singer and her emotion-charged songs. Irreverent, sad and seriously funny, Price talks about Adele’s childhood and early years, setting the scene for the big ballads to come. Her ad-lib and audience interaction are devilishly sharp.

A medley of “Hometown Glory”, “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Turning Tables”, followed by a cheeky mix of Spice Girls’ hits and Adele’s first single, “Chasing Pavements”, showcase the clever arrangements of Price, guitarist Jason McGregor, pianist Michael Manikus, and 2013 The Voice runner-up Luke Kennedy.

Back-up singers Kennedy, Rachel Everett-Jones and Lai Utovou were uber-cool and displayed their individual talent with solos in the encore. McGregor’s electric guitar and Bond riffs, as well as Price’s souring vocals, were a feature of a big rendition of the Academy Award-winning “Skyfall”.

The intro to the heart-wrenching anthem “Someone Like You” went on forever but, somehow, Price managed to mix wicked send-ups, impersonations and moving tributes with the lilting piano of Manikus and, finally, a close-to-flawless, emotional performance of this mega-hit.

“Hello” in the encore was almost an anti-climax, but a jazzy, rocking medley of hits to finish left the audience upbeat and ready to take on the throngs of jubilant Crows supporters and the wintry weather outside.

Rumour Has It is highly recommended contemporary cabaret.

Rumour Has It is on again tonight and tomorrow night at the Dunstan Playhouse as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

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