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Pride review: Gobsmacked

Wed 13 Feb 2013 In: Performance View at NDHA

Gobsmacked With Jamie Burgess and Nikki Aitken Musgrove Studio Nightly until 17 February, for Auckland Pride Nikki Aitken (pic: Andrew Whiteside) Working hard with energy and verve Jamie Burgess and Nikki Aitken last night took their small audience through a roller-coaster ride of relationships and unfulfilled dreams. Taking up the stereotypical pairing of gay boy and best (female) friend, both sharing a love of musicals and a yearning for the man of their dreams, Burgess and Aitken presented us with engaging personalities, each with a strong and entertaining stage presence. Essentially a string of original songs and tragi-comedy vignettes, Gobsmacked is at its heart self-deprecating and even a tad cynical. Burgess's insouciance and Aitken's brassy vulnerability are effective vehicles for a range of effectively staged personal takes on the complexities of dating and relationships. Burgess is by turns prim and sly, gauche and charming. Aitken almost channels La Merman (with a splash of Miss Ribena for good measure) and possesses vocal and dramatic ranges which mostly thrill but occasionally become just too desperate. Belt voice should be used judiciously, even Merman knew when to hold back and when to let it rip. There are plenty of crisp and tart observations, lots of warm and human moments and a sense of exuberant fun from beginning (which this reviewer shamefully missed) to end. Gobsmacked deserves a much bigger audience than was evident last night, it's hard work engaging a small audience with comedy but Burgess and Aitken did so easily and with a few more bums on seats they will surely rise even higher to the occasion. - Jay Bennie Jay Bennie - 13th February 2013    

Credit: Jay Bennie

First published: Wednesday, 13th February 2013 - 8:04am

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