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Review – an effervescent Rumour Has It

Right: Naomi Price as Adele

Rumour Has It

Created by Adam Brunes and Naomi Price

little red company

Presented by Queensland Theatre Company

Bille Brown Studio

South Brisbane

The season, October 7-17, ends tonight.

Naomi Price’s journey as English pop singer Adele began in 2012 with a fifteen minute send-up spot when she stuffed a pillow down her front to add a bit of weight. Since then the show has evolved with tours and rewrites until now, four years later, the show’s fourth incarnation is a two hour one-woman show, that has been filling the Bille Brown studio, night after night. The weight gain is now skilfully done with clever and very real-looking padding, but the fun remains.

It was the 9.30 performance on the second last night when I got to see Rumour Has It. There was a booze-filled audience, many seated cabaret style at tables in front of the stage. The wine and beer flowed freely as Naomi strutted her stuff. There was not a spare seat in the house and the crowd, loved every minute of the sometimes profane, but always entertaining and vocally amazing performance.

Adele’s story is told with a North London accent and a cheeky delivery and her hit songs were sung, and yet, it was still Naomi Price who dominated the stage. She has too big a personality to bury it in another character. She is a lady with immense talent that has been enhanced by years of hard slog and perseverance.

There is no doubt that Naomi’s long run in the TV talent show The Voice helped spread her name, but, judging by the audience, she has already a mass of fans out there. There were many who were watching her for the second or third time – and some of them I’m sure weren’t, quite sure who they are watching

“We love you Adele:” came the cry from the enamoured guy sitting next to me. He rocked so hard the entire row shook, but give him his due, drinks or not, he was right into the show and had the time of his life.

Of course it was Naomi’s voice that gives the show its extra zing. She is a good actor and mimic, but when she sings, her diction is perfect and the voice soars to the heights. It is a beautifully clear and pitch-perfect.

She brought in the songs – like Rolling In The Deep. Set Fire to The Rain. Make You Feel My Love, and amazing Skyfall, I Can't Make You Love Me, Rumour Has It, To Make You Feel My Love and her now famous megamix version of Someone Like You – neatly into the storyline. She had a tale to tell with each of the songs.

It was a one-woman show, but she had a talented bunch of people behind her – with vocalists Luke Kennedy, Tom Oliver and Rachel Everett-Jones and the musicians; MD and guitarist Jason McGregor, bassist Andrew Johnson, drummer Mik Easterman and pianist Michael Manikus.

I think that it is the vitality of the show that gave the audience such a good time. It was a boisterous, good natured night filled with love. I am quite sure too that is the audience had the choice of watching the real Adele or Naomi, they’d pick Naomi’s effervescent presence.

The show might be over, but the life goes on for Naomi, she is deep in rehearsals for QTC’s next production, the Tim Finn/Caroline Burns musical Ladies in Black next month.

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