Out of the Blue, Oxford’s all male a capella group, have many things to offer. Their show is polished, musically assured and visually impressive. There are moments of comedy, moments that are genuinely moving and moments where twenty grown men from one of the UK’s most prestigious universities bound around the stage pretending to be monkeys.
The choreography is excellent: dad dancing transformed into an art form.
But while those monkey impressions will be permanently and inescapably etched into the minds of all those who witness them, what stands out most about this show is how much fun everybody – both onstage and in the audience – seems to be having. The boys’ enthusiasm for what they are doing – and they must be enthusiastic to have found the time to perfect such complex routines – is infectious, and the atmosphere in the room is electric.
Musically, the set is impressive. The group’s voices blend well and the harmonies are complex and often highly inventive. Song choices vary from Moulin Rouge to Amazing Grace, with Tight Fit and the Human League getting a look in along the way. The choreography is equally excellent: dad dancing transformed into an art form.
Despite being part of one of the most successful and well established shows at the Fringe, these boys do not take themselves too seriously. Which is lucky given that they are essentially a group of grown men dancing around with no shoes on, singing their way through the musical works of Shakira. It takes a special kind of self-confidence to make that work and Out of the Blue manage it masterfully.
Get down to the box office and book yourself a ticket. If you come out smiling, you can thank me later. If you don’t come out smiling, I’m afraid there is no hope for you.