Who Runs the World?
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 20th Aug 2013
  • |
  • ★★★★★

For me, female acapella is really difficult to get right. Higher voices sound beautiful with backing but take away the instruments and it can feel a little thin and unsatisfying, the sweet without the substance, like icing without a cake.

Thankfully, in this respect, The Accidentals were a revelation to me. Fully backing up the ‘independent woman’ strength of their title they bring a depth and texture which I haven’t previously seen from a group of this kind.

Part of this is due to their possessing a select core of exceptionally strong vocalists. Don’t get me wrong – all of these girls are excellent but Anna MacDonald and Vicki Robertson bring with them an assuredness and range that gives this performance. Frankly any female soloist willing to step up and take on Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ (with pretty spectacular results) deserves respect and I salute Robertson for reclaiming the semi-misogynistic ‘Blurred Lines’. This is not to forget Tessa Stokes whose cracking soul voice, showcased on ‘The Clapping Song’ is complemented by an on-stage manner with real fire and charisma.

However, an excellent vocal line-up is only half the battle. Here too, The Accidentals answer the call. Their choice of songs is impeccable, up-tempo anthems like their ‘Good Feeling’/’Dynamite’ mashup contrasting beautifully with quieter moments such as Kutylowski’s beautifully earnest rendition of ‘Go Your Own Way’. The undoubted vocal highlight for me though was a barnstorming rendition of Bastille’s ‘Pompeii’, a song whose wall-of-sound chorus has caused problems for even large male acapella groups at this year’s Fringe. I’m happy to say that the Accidentals nail it with stunning results.

Add to this energetic, fun and feisty choreography and you have a show that you can’t possibly not enjoy.There are, admittedly, moments where the polish of the performance falls apart a little, usually because the girls look like they’re enjoying themselves rather too much but this only adds to the sense of fun and joy in performance. A capella performance at its best and a credible threat to a certain bunch of Oxford boys in blue as next year’s must-see a capella group for the Fringe.

Reviews by Tom King

Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy Farrett: Lois

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

She Sells Sea Shells

★★★★
Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square / Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★

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

The Accidentals, of course! The UK's best all-female university a cappella group is back after their unforgettable debut run last year **** (ThreeWeeks), bringing you another show bursting with attitude, fun, infectious enthusiasm and expert musicality!

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets