Spectacappella!

King’s College London's All the King's Men return to the Edinburgh Fringe with Spectacappella. The ten-piece all-male group are full of vitality, precision and wit as they perform a variety of songs re-imagined through a cappella.

All the King’s Men show an unexpected versatility of range and tone. In Down to the River to Pray, the band are stripped down to just four members, evoking a soulful, gospel style resulting in a intimate and powerful experience.

All the King’s Men show an unexpected versatility of range and tone. In Down to the River to Pray, the band are stripped down to just four members, evoking a soulful, gospel style resulting in a intimate and powerful experience. Meanwhile, imaginative vocal arrangements and influence from the English choral tradition transform Ed Sheeran’s Afire Love in a surprisingly touching and beautiful way. Bass singer Jonny Stewart has a beautiful resounding tone that brings heart and spirit into Sheeran’s lyrics. The Bare Necessities has the band prancing about and grooming like monkeys, lifting and bending to suit the music, and features the “percussionist”'s fine swing-infused voice. Their version of Alicia Key's If I Ain't Got You brings tenderness leading to a crescendo that is unexpected and powerful. The band are strikingly and slickly polished – as they duck, dive and weave through each song to suit the music, never too proud for any mimes or finding sassy moves too silly or boyband grins too cheesy. The arachnid-themed finale makes children in the audience squeal with pleasure and transcends into a fine jazzy number skilfully adapted with passion and a sense of humour.

The group's in-between-song banter is as polished as their music and choreography, but it lacks spontaneity. This makes it feel overly programmed. Something more improvised might be less wooden and a touch more rock and roll.

If you’ve heard about tap dancing at All the King's Men's previous shows, you’ll be disappointed by its absence here. The show is also a little short, running at around 45 minutes and an encore would have been appreciated by the audience, warmed up and not yet ready to leave. But despite the brevity and the lack of tap dancing, the incredibly talented All the King's Men present a show that is slick, charming, creative and fun.

Reviews by Alice Quine

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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

After back-to-back official sell-out shows in 2012 and 2013, these men return to the Fringe for the fifth successive year. 'This show is slick, oozes professionalism and utter precision... It would be foolish to miss it!' ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'My favourite boy band of all time!' ***** (ThreeWeeks). 'They connected with a full house and worked really well entertaining all, from youngsters to grandparents, with a mix of songs' ***** (LoveFringe.com). Fresh from tours to Europe, the USA and Asia, don't miss this spectacular show from 'Edinburgh Fringe’s preeminent collegiate a cappella group!' (BroadwayBaby.com). @atkmlondon www.all-the-kings-men.com

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