The Black Blues Brothers
- Donald Hutera
- 12 August 2019
Terrific five-man team claim the spotlight in this big, breezy and cheesy entertainment
Loosely structured as a tribute act to Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi's musical and film alter egos, this cheesy, breezy and barnstormingly populist production places not two but five African acrobats in the spotlight.
Progressing into the performing arts thanks to an initiative aimed at Kenyan youths, they're a terrific team, whether projecting all-smiles energy or exuding a showbiz version of laid-back cool. The point is these buff and frolicsome guys combine the kind of big stage personalities and seemingly effortless physical skills that easily elicit a clap-along crowd's whoops and cheers. Hell, they've even performed in front of the Pope.
Pegged to selections from the 1980 film's juicy soundtrack, the show they inhabit is a slick, lively slab of all-ages entertainment featuring plenty of stunts (a human teeter-totter, a mainly comic multiple striptease, a fiery limbo routine and much more) plus a few spots of harmless audience participation.
The mix of backflips, balances or head-on-headstands and jokes is well-judged. The only slightly uncomfortable bit is when the smallest fellow gets picked on by his mates. The mock-antagonism is short-lived, but it doesn't quite sit right with the tone of the rest of the hour.
Assembly Rooms, until 25 Aug, 4.30pm, £16 (£15).