Tag: Ben Nicholson

REVIEW: Hedger and Nicholson’s HOOK UP

Utter delight

By Myron My

15% were single, 15% were seeing someone and 70% were in a relationship – these were the audience statistics taken by Nick Hedger on the evening I attended his 2014 Fringe Festival show, Hook Up. It seemed fitting seeing as the show is a cabaret about relationships and what makes them work (or not work).

Hook Up

Written by Hedger and Ben Nicholson and performed on the piano by the talented Hedger, the diverse range of songs throughout Hook Up showcase the talent of these two men and it’s no surprise they won the Short + Sweet Fringe Development Award last year for this show. With the use of his magic piano and inspired by some real-life stories by friends, Hedger places four people in various relationship scenarios to see how they respond to their circumstances.

The four actors/singers, Michelle Brasier, Josh Ellwood, Vincent Milesi and Laura Johnston each have a brilliant stage presence. Every relationship they portray seems genuine and memorable, and considering they only have a few minutes within each scenario, this is no easy feat. They are able to display the humour and emotion that plays in every real relationship and the connection they have with each other when they’re singing is beautiful both to watch and to listen to as they blend together harmoniously (literally and figuratively).

Josh Ellwood’s fantastic song as a lonely nerd searching for his Pikachu is stuck firmly in my mind, and the homage to 90s video games was a great touch. Similarly, Milesi’s opening number had me in stitches and the duet between Brasier and Johnston and their word games therapy was great to watch.

I walked out of Hook Up grinning from ear to ear and it’s hard to believe this is the Hedger and Nicholson’s first show as a writing team. With its skillful lyrics, amazing voices and a script full of laughs, there is nothing to not like about this show.

Venue: Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne

Season: Until 26 September | 10:15pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc

Bookings: http://www.melbournefringe.com.au

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REVIEW: Nick Hedger’s PLAYGROUND

An eclectic collection from an exciting young composer

By Narelle Wood

Playground is a collection of songs by the very talented Nick Hedger. Whilst some of the songs, such as those from Hedger’s much talked-about one-man cabaret show Crap I Found in My Room, have obviously been worked through a number of times, this musical collection also showcased some of his newer work including songs from HomeSick and Conditions.

Playground

Playground’s ‘players’ consisted of an experienced and talented cast including Kerrie Anne Greenland, Brent Hill, Andrew Hondromatidis, Erin Kennedy, Emily Langridge, Ben Nicholson and Nick Hedger himself. Given the experience of the cast it was honestly hard sometimes to work out whether the occasional off note, which was mostly noticeable during the harmonies, was first-night nerves or a result of Hedger’s sometimes unusual, but workable, musical arrangements.

The musical numbers showcased Hedger’s ability to write everything from comedy, to ballads, to creepy tunes about the Pied Piper taking his revenge. While there were some clear themes to songs from the same musical works, without reading the explanation in the program many of the songs lacked context making it difficult to ascertain what was going on. This was especially the case where the songs made overt references to storylines and characters from particular shows, and was further compounded by the show jumping from musical to musical. That been said, the show did have an overall balance between the musical genres it presented.

The standout moments of the night were provided by those pieces that were written or performed with comedic intent: “Golden Rule”, “Playa” and “Is That What Makes a Relationship?” On the creepier side of the comedy was the performance of Hondromatidis, Nicholson and Hill as three witches back from the dead in “Back in Salem”; this was disturbingly entertaining in the only way watching three grown men menacingly sing “we’re coming for your children” can be.

It has to be said that Hedger’s ability to tickle the ivories stole the show, especially during the piano solo from “Bit of a Feelin’”. Whilst some of the ballads were a little over-sentimental, I would be very eager to see more of Hedger’s work: this is a musical mastermind in the making.

Venue:Chapel off Chapel, Prahran

Season:Saturday 1st March 8pm, Sunday 2nd March, 6.30pm

Tickets:$30 Full | $25 Concession

Bookings: chapeloffchapel.com.au/ticket-sales/