AcadePitch Presents – Romeo and Juliet: An A Cappella Tragedy

There are quite a few variations on the Romeo & Juliet theme at this year’s Fringe, but few have as many puns as AcadePitch Presents - Romeo and Juliet: An A Capella Tragedy.

The energy in the room is electric

It’s clear to see that both groups, Academy and Pitch Fight, are bursting with talent. Their individual performances are well-rehearsed and enjoyable. Unfortunately, the combined numbers are slightly chaotic, and the quantity of people on stage can feel a bit overwhelming. To succeed with a group of singers this large, the focus needs to be on control and communication. Both groups had a lot of enthusiasm and energy, but the structure just isn’t there.

Technically speaking, there were a lot of volume issues. Of course, this can happen with any performance! But the technical team are tracking about 25 microphones, many of which get swapped regularly between the singers. The real issue is the direction – keeping the plan as simple as possible so that the crew are easily able to enact it on the day. Considering the size of the room, they could potentially have attempted an acoustic show.

The banter between the groups is cheesy but a lot of fun for audience and performers alike. Setting the whole thing as a kind of Montague vs. Capulet feud brings an element of drama, while every pun and Pitch Perfect reference is clearly relished by the group. Opening with an a capella adaptation of the Shakespearian prologue, each musical scene flows naturally into the next, with narrative assistance from the central characters fighting for peace and harmony (literally).

Musically speaking, the girls stole the show, while both groups acknowledge their lack of dancing prowess. Although the choreography wasn’t exactly groundbreaking, it gives both groups the chance to showcase their attitude and poise. A few performers from both Academy and Pitch Fight were either too nervous to commit, or more focused on vocals than swagger, but many other members gave 110% to even things out.

Overall, it’s wonderful to see so much passion and enthusiasm in a performance. Both groups could have done with a little more combined rehearsals, but the energy in the room is electric. The cover of Rihanna’s Russian Roulette in particular was a standout moment for the show!

Reviews by Kate Nora

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Two a cappella groups, both alike in dignity, in fair Bristol where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new harmony. From forth the fiery loins of these two foes, a duet of star-crossed lovers take their pitches. Academy and Pitch Fight return to the Edinburgh Fringe fresh from their incredible success in competition this year. With award-winning choreography and vocal percussion, the Bristol-based groups take inspiration from the great Bard of Avon in their brand-new joint show. If music be the food of love, sing on!

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