The Alleycats: Contemporary a Cappella

You’d be forgiven for assuming that the top British universities these days offer a BA (Hons) course in A Cappella Singing and you’d also be forgiven for assuming that that means I don’t like a cappella groups. I do. They’re great. They combine singing with beatboxing and a rather odd conception that singing without accompaniment equals sexy. It does. Sometimes.

The Alleycats, a group from the University of St Andrews, take a cappella and add white sneakers, moving very quickly into heavily choreographed routines and making their performance visually as well as aurally stimulating. The result is impressive in that it doesn’t affect their singing at all: they succeed in belting out lines as if they were born to dance. It’s unimpressive in that it’s often messy. The mistakes are basic things - kicks aren’t in line with each other, movements don’t quite happen fully in-time - but at least the claps don’t become a canon of echoes.

Dancing aside, the music is performed competently and has some shining moments, like the performance of ‘Respect' that forms a finale, or some of the medleys in the middle. Audience interaction at any kind of musical event is guaranteed to cause problems; expecting a room full of amateurs who aren’t experienced a cappella stars to clap and stamp in time did lead to a rather messy penultimate number, which was a shame. Vocally, however, there is very little to wow the audience. They could afford to take more risks, but they could also afford to watch their voices.

British universities do not offer a BA in A Cappella, but they probably should, and this lot should consider taking that course... at least for a term or two.

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

Young, mischievous and singing everything from Motown to hip hop - a cheeky something for everyone. With appearances on BBC One's Last Choir Standing and numerous awards, this is energetic a cappella with attitude! www.thealleycats.co.uk.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets