Simply Blue

There is a real physicality in music. The act of singing itself is a physical endeavour, managing breath, working vocal chords, projecting the noise.

Hit the stage and party. Then we could all have a good time.

Singing also carries a rhythmicality to it - swaying hips and clicking fingers. That’s why sporty boys often love to sing. They certainly do at the Diocesan College (aka Bishops), an independent boys school in Cape Town, which prides itself both on a galaxy of South African sporting internationals and a strong musical tradition, based in its John Peake Music School. The school holds an annual Eisteddfod to show off its musical prowess, with a range of singing and instrumental performances that the whole school clearly buys into and enjoys. It is wonderful to see a school make this level of commitment to music. This Simply Blue choir is a product of the school’s passion, with a collection of 16 to 18 year olds presenting their songbook in harmony, with the occasional backing track and some light choreography.

What a charming bunch of crooners these guys are. Fifteen of them, just like a rugby team - very Bishops. An elegant, modern rainbow boys choir. The singers all worked together well in providing sharp harmonies and the two-way waistcoats were a thing of wonder in themselves. Congrats to Costume. Within the group, Nimba Mahlati was undoubtedly the talisman, opening and closing the show with a stunning voice. Koame Kota’s passion for the Khoisan language clearly engaged the audience. And Thando Kualo can definitely move. The group particularly came to life presenting African heritage songs as their centrepiece, starting with Shosholoza and progressing into Zulu prayer songs and music inspired by the townships. This was certainly the centrepiece of the show and sung with real passion and feeling – and much better suited to the group than the Eric Clapton and John Denver songs that sandwiched this section. The group are good choral singers, smartly dressed and above all, they were very nicely behaved.

And that was the problem. I didn’t want them to be nicely behaved. I wanted them to be characterful and daredevilish and fun and a bit cheekier than I’d like, the way that teenage boys are supposed to be. I wanted them to own the stage, to put on a show, to come out slugging. I wanted to see friendships within the wider group, some flamboyancy and showmanship, singers full of the joy of their music. Where was it? When the group brought a pretty girl on stage for a love song, they posed as if they were being photographed with the Headmaster’s wife on Speech Day. I wanted them to vie for her attention, so that their strategy for catching her eye might reveal to us something of their individual personality.

Come on, lads! You are not at school now, you’re on tour! You’ve got great voices so hit the stage and party. Then we could all have a good time.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Ben Ludlow

Pleasance Courtyard

The Land of Lost Content

★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

The Roaring of the Voices

★★★★★
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Late Bloomers' Tales: Chasing Time Through Songs

★★★★
Pleasance Dome

Blodlina: The Viking Musical

★★★

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

Location

The Blurb

Simply Blue, a four-part a cappella group of singers from Bishops Diocesan College, was started in June 2000. The aim is to create an opportunity for senior boys in the college to be able to express their enjoyment of singing contemporary songs and other light-hearted classics while sharing their love of music with others. The group is made up of 15 member and includes a vocal percussionist. They have toured both nationally and internationally in the past 21 years and look forward to being part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the second time.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets