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REVIEW: London Calling with Paul Dabek

Review by Markus Hamence – Performance date Friday 23 February, Adelaide Fringe, Gluttony, South Australia

‘London Calling’ at the 2024 Adelaide Fringe: A Cultural Phenomenon

The 2024 Adelaide Fringe has been buzzing with anticipation for a myriad of shows, but ‘London Calling’ stands out as a cultural tour de force that captivates and entertains from start to finish. I’m going to delve into the essence of the show, exploring why it has become a must-see spectacle for attendees of this year’s festival.

A Melange of Talent and Creativity

‘London Calling’ is not just a show; it’s a vibrant celebration of artistry and imagination, showcasing a diverse array of talents that include music, theatre, comedy, and dance. The performers, hailing originally London, bring a piece of London’s eclectic and dynamic spirit to Adelaide, creating an atmosphere that’s both electric and inviting. At the helm is Las Vegas residing magician and Adelaide Fringe staple, Paul Dabek, he enthrals us with his mastery of tricks and includes us with his witty engaging banter. Paul is a true showman. The lineup is impressive and showcases an ensemble of cabaret royalty: from Sam Goodburn’s high-energy and hilarious stunts to Antje Pode’s enchanting suitcase juggling, Charlie Caper’s mind-boggling magic to Chelsea Angell’s hypnotic hula hooping, and not to forget Shaunah Johnson’s gravity-defying aerial stunts. A very entertaining and talented cast.

Paul Dabek

The Magic of Dabek

From the moment Paul Dabek steps onto the stage, you’re not just a member of the audience; you’re part of a magical journey. His presence is electrifying, with a charisma that fills the room. Dabek, hailing from the UK, brings a slice of London’s magic to Adelaide with his show ‘London Calling’. It’s not just a performance; it’s an invitation into his world of illusion and wit…

The Heartbeat of the Show

At its core, ‘London Calling’ thrives on its ability to blend humor with poignant moments, creating a rich tapestry of human experiences. The show’s narrative threads are woven with care, guiding the audience through a journey that’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Each act contributes to the overarching theme of connection and resilience, reminding us of the power of performance to unite and inspire (including Paul’s brilliant hand shadow puppetry segment in the show)

Standout Moments

Among the many highlights of ‘London Calling’ is Charlie Capper ‘Bow Tie’ and Sam Goodburn ability to get dressed on a uni-cycle while eating yo-yo biscuits. The production values are top-notch, with lighting and sound design that perfectly complement the performers’ skills. This all adds a layer of authenticity and energy that propels the show into the realm of unforgettable experiences.

A Unifying Experience

What sets ‘London Calling’ apart is its ability to resonate with a wide audience. Regardless of one’s background or interests, there’s something in the show that speaks to everyone. It’s a testament to the universal language of the arts, and ‘London Calling’ speaks it fluently. The standing ovation it received on opening night was not just for the performance but for the message of unity it represents.

Audience Reactions

“They had me at the edge of my seat, and then in stitches the next moment. The performers in ‘London Calling’ are insanely talented and funny. It’s a must-watch!” – Geoff W, Parafield Gardens, South Australia

“What a show stopper! London Calling entertains from the get go with superb performances from all the artists led by the dapper veteran of variety Paul Dabeck. Be amazed by juggling suitcases, magic that leaves you wondering, a unicycle balancing act that keeps you on the edge of your seat and a Lion King shadow act that will hit your heart. It’s a must see of this year’s fringe.” – Kerrie A, Stepney, South Australia

Final Thoughts

‘London Calling’ is a jewel in the crown of the 2024 Adelaide Fringe. It embodies the spirit of the festival: innovative, inclusive, and bursting with life. Whether you’re a seasoned Fringe-goer or a first-timer, this show is a beacon, inviting you to experience the magic of live performance. Its message is clear: in a world of chaos, the arts remain a calling for connection, understanding, and joy. Do not miss the chance to be part of this extraordinary event.

Shout out to Matt Tarrant who knows how to bring to life a GREAT production. Bravo to Matt, Paul and Co.

From me, it’s a very magical FIVE STARS *****

Tickets for the show here! 🙂

Markus Hamence interviews Paul Dabek
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