Distant Shore

Hailing from Canberra Australia is The Other Side, a group comprised of Mike Lyons and John McCarthy, joined by Mary. They present a show called Distant Shore, a mix of folk and country with a distinctly Australian feel.

Before I go any further in this review, I should mention that I’m not sure I have ever been privy to a show with such polar opposites in terms of interest and quality. The show was essentially split into parts: numbers with the whole three piece group, where vocals were mainly provided by Mike Lyons, more country oriented songs with Mary and John, then Mary playing her solo material along with some well-chosen country covers.

The real weak parts of this show were, unfortunately and surprisingly, the whole group numbers. The vocals felt odd and just a little cabaret with the slightest twinge of an Elvis impersonator. This was off-putting audiologically and detracted from the original lyrics of McCarthy. Furthermore, there was no real harmony between the three as Lyons' volume simply drowned out anything else. I couldn’t help but feel that Mary's voice was rather underused in these sections and it seems I was right.

Her voice has a lovely tone and natural lilt that is perfect for this music. She is, in essence, the complete package for a country/folk singer. Whilst her voice is excellent, where she lets herself down at times is with her lyrics. They are fairly simplistic and often feel formulaic. There were also moments in the show where I really wanted her to go for notes and she shied away. However this, along with her lyric writing, will come with time as she matures into both her voice and craft.Another issue was that Mary often looked bored for the parts of the set that she wasn’t the lead singer in. This was particularly apparent compared with how animated she was when leading. Whilst this may be understandable, it did take away from the energy and message of these sections.

To call this a mixed bag doesn’t really do justice to how differently I felt about the two main aspects of this show. I thought that, as a three piece, The Other Side didn’t work and their sections were frankly a little surreal. Mary on the other hand was engaging and stunning to listen to. I got the feeling that this was two shows masquerading as one.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Down Under trio from Canberra bring their celebrated repertoire of original folk, country, jazz and blues-influenced music to the Fringe for the first time. www.cubbyhousestudio.com.au.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £35.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets