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The Hot Potato Syncopators - Brighton Fringe 2014 review by Sarah Agnew

The Hot Potato Syncopators, Company: Theaterland Promotions
Venue: Friends' Meeting House, Category: Music
11-14 May 20:30 £10 (£8) [1hr 10mins]

Hot footed in their dickie bows and tails from Bath, three gentlemen crooning musicians jumped onto the stage with an "Huzzah!", or at least that is how it felt.  Wearing enormous smiles and vintage hair dos / moustache they looked fantastic.  Playing songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s they played well known tunes such as Keep Young and Beautiful (if you want to be loved), to funny songs I had never heard before.  Their first number began with the line Blue Skies Around the Corner with the fastest ukulele playing I have ever seen.  A succession of tunes followed accompanied by a lot of larking about on stage all done without losing their rapid pace, it was incredibly impressive.  Then Mr Moustache (Duke of Nostalgia) brought the monocle out and they began to sing, 'I'm in the mood for love' with lots of winks and significant looks to ladies in the audience.  Next Mr Teeth added his musical saw to the mix creating this wobbly sound that seemed to work well with any song.  It was all just so nostalgic, it made me wish I had lived in the 1930s.  The gentlemen sang in perfect sync to Mr Sandman as they continued their polished performance.  Come back again and again to Brighton, I say!  With the audience now beaming back at them the Hot Potatoes requested a little audience participation.  "Whistle along if you know the words" encouraged the Duke of Nostalgia, while on stage they sang, danced and carried on playing their instruments to The Sun Has Got his Hat On.  Mr Teeth juggled, Mr Moustache threw his face into a bowl of water on the floor for On A Coconut Island and Mr Maris Piper turned a pewter kettle into a musical instrument for Dig a Dig Oo.  The capering continued with a brilliant pretend ventriloquism scene.  By the time The Hot Potatoes were singing Run Rabbit Run the audience were no longer just whistling but were now in full voice joining in.  I won't spoil their finale because part of it is the surprise element, apart from to say it is a lot of fun and had everyone laughing a great deal. This fun and talented trio pulled off an inventive, clever and witty performance.  Despite their vintage dress and songs, their jokes were bang up to date and a touch cheeky, but just a touch.  The crowd enjoyed the performance so much they were cheered back on stage for an encore.  For this they chose to slow the tempo right down and played a hauntingly beautiful version of Love is the Sweetest Thing, click on the video below to have a listen.

Sarah Agnew - follow on Twitter @IrishAggers

Mr Teeth, Hot Potato Syncopators

Hot Potato Syncopators at Friends Meeting House

Hot Potato Syncopators

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