“Everything you are about to hear is pure human vocals,” a voiceover announces before the show begins. It’s well that the audience is given this warning or you would no doubt question the possibility that such a wide-ranging array of sounds could be authentically produced by a group of eight mere human beings.
The show is mime-like, seeing as it is performed in an invented alien language. This increases the comedy of the show and skilfully heightens the spectators’ attention to the power of sound, forced to look beyond explicit narrative content.
The Voca People play on the otherworldliness of their talent by dressing in white from head to toe (the coulrophobes in the audience may struggle with the performers’ white-painted faces and bright red lips). They pertain to be creatures from another planet that have accidentally landed on earth. In order to relaunch their spaceship, they must gather energy from the audience through the power of song. Discovering the wealth of music available on earth, The Voca People take us on a whirlwind tour across the history of music.
The show is mime-like, seeing as it is performed in an invented alien language. This increases the comedy of the show and skilfully heightens the spectators’ attention to the power of sound, forced to look beyond explicit narrative content. Whilst some song lyrics are preserved, most of the time they are fused into instrumental sounds.
The Israeli performers mash up songs ranging from opera to mainstream pop via hard rock and disco. When they are not bursting into song, they are sure to accompany every step, twirl, or action they take with an appropriate sound effect. This requires a sleek, well-timed and intricately planned performance which the Vocas have down to a pin. A beatbox battle between the Captain and Scratcher is a particular highlight, placing the pair’s original, almost superhuman talent in the spotlight.
The Voca People put special effort into audience participation. Beware: you may find yourself being played like an instrument, serenaded or used as a prop. Hiding in the back rows provides no means of escape. Though amusing overall, the audience participation gets a little too invasive at times. Many spectators find themselves to be the object of the Vocas’ romantic attentions, and some of those brought up on stage as participants or props do not seem overly pleased with their roles.
The alien storyline, while enjoyable, does not add all that much to the overall effect of the performance, except perhaps for making it more child-friendly. The singers’ voices in themselves are so incredible that the frills around them are barely needed. If you enjoy musical theatre, then The Voca People are a must-see. You’ll have the pleasure of recognising almost every song performed and will surely find yourself enchanted by their fast-paced and dynamic performance.