The Rat Pack - Live

Throw on your suit, kick off your shoes and do not be afraid to sing along. Hartshorn Hook's tribute act to the kings of sixties' swing revives more than just a few songs in a delightful hour of music.

The Pack stay wonderfully in character throughout, particularly Kieran Sims’ increasingly inebriated Dean Martin, who facilitates most of the playful squabbling that set the trio's shows apart way back when. The caramel-voiced Earl Perkins plays a wonderful Sammy Davis Jr. and Jamie Ross gives us a perfectly suave Frank Sinatra round off the trilogy with charm and sophistication, while the Whisky Sisters, Bryony Ward and Jo Edwards, provide fantastic harmonious backing vocals.

It's a shame that time constraints meant that not every member of the twelve-piece jazz orchestra could have a moment in the limelight, and also that none of this orchestra appeared to want to be there. Though a delight to hear, their expressions ranged from po-faced to plain bored, which sucked energy from the overall performance.

Frank, Sammy and Dean, though, remain frenetically charged. A real bond seems present between these three performers, who can take us from the highest highs of New York, New York to a chillingly good rendition of Mr Bojangles with the flick of a loosened tie. As voices they were perfect, as characters they were wildly entertaining, but when you put a name like the Rat Pack on your show you challenge yourself to fill three enormous pairs of shoes. We need to see a real performance, a stage full of enthusiasm, not only musicians but performers who share the stage instead of just backing up the headliners.

Reviews by Jenni Ajderian

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Performances

The Blurb

West End producers swing back into Edinburgh with their celebrated Rat Pack - Live. Expect sharp suits and smooth vocals as Frank, Sammy and Dean hit the stage with their 12-piece jazz orchestra. **** (BroadwayBaby.com). www.hartshornhook.com

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