The Bohemians are definitely at their best when performing choral numbers, though individual performances are also commendable.
The band is wonderfully managed by musical director and keys player Finlay Turnbull, creating a full, rich sound from keys, drums, guitar and bass. There are a few sound issues throughout the show, possibly due to the difficult acoustics of the venue. Sound that isn’t amplified often gets swallowed up in the space, meaning that big ensemble numbers occasionally lose their punch.
Harmonies and dynamics are sharp throughout, however enunciation in the large group numbers sometimes gets lost: again, possibly to do with the venue. Some of the numbers work beautifully in the space, however, such as a choral number from Titanic and Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera both echoing beautifully around the church. Synchronised choreography is limited by a small performance speak and large group of performers. Simple movement is used well and the execution is generally very tight; only let down in a few instances by an underconfidence with the choreography. Staging is at times unimaginative, and not enough focus is placed on acting through song: though vocals are throughout very strong.
The Bohemians are definitely at their best when performing choral numbers, though individual performances are also commendable. Jo Heinemeier, though she doesn’t have her own solo, stands out for her excellent belt and riffing in both Candy Store and Skid Row. Ross Stewart’s Till I Hear You Sing from Music of the Night goes down incredibly well and is a really powerful performance. Felicity Thomas’ Back to Before from Ragtime is the standout performance of the night, showing off a beautiful tone, powerful belt and a really strong performance.
The Bohemians ended their set with a preview of their upcoming production of 9 to 5. Their performance of Shine Like the Sun packed a punch and shows real promise for their production next year.