FRINGE – Gady Lala: Songs for the Sophisticated Faghag – 5K

By Ben Nielsen

To attempt to include the most popular ‘gay anthems’ in a single show would be no mean feat, considering Wikipedia lists over sixty, and Google describes thousands more. Gady Lala: Songs for the Sophisticated Faghag manages to include a staggering number, resulting in a night of hilarity from beginning to end.

Other than the opening song (an impressive Lady Gaga mash-up), and the extravagant head pieces worn by each singer; the show has little association with Gaga. Instead, it traverses a variety of well-known songs adopted by the gay community; each with an individual sound, but a shared sense of empowerment, pride, and unity.

In an act of therapy-style confession, it is made clear from the beginning of the show that each of the three stars, Catherine Campbell, Sidonie Henbest, and Libby O’Donovan, is either a self declared fag or faghag. Throughout the performance, in a pleasant balance of dialogue and song, each delves further into her sex life and association with the gay community.

With both group and solo numbers, each singer is given the opportunity to display her individual musical abilities and quirky sense of humour. The arrangements were both effective and stunning, in spite of the sparse instrumentation (with only a solitary piano as accompaniment); however some minor intonation issues during group songs did tend to jeopardise the rich harmonies. Similarly, missed lighting cues were noticeable on a few occasions.

A stand out performance was given by Libby O’Donovan, who displayed great vocal aptitude. Her versatility extended from subtle, sensitive tendencies to the exuberant qualities of a big-voiced diva. Her comedic style and ability to work the audience was also exceptional.

The sold-out season is a credit to the brilliance of the show, as were the sounds of enjoyment emanating from the audience. Quite possibly the highlight of the 2012 Adelaide Fringe, Gady Lala: Songs for the Sophisticated Faghag is an unapologetic and absolutely raucous celebration of self-pride and confidence; no matter the state or persuasion of your romantic endeavours.

Kryztoff Rating   5K

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