The tickets may have been highly coveted, but were they worth it? Danielle Rayner reviews All the King’s Men: Knight Fever for us.
Returning to the Fringe for their fourth successive year and attaining their second consecutive official sell-out, the all-male a cappella assemblage from Kingâ€™s College London was certainly back to Edinburgh with a bang.
It can be difficult to compile a repertoire which pleases teens and grandparents alike, but the Men didnâ€™t seem to have any problems. Starting with an excellent arrangement of Chris Brownâ€™s â€˜Foreverâ€™, the group moved seamlessly from pop hit to 1960s classic and from Eric Clapton to Carly Rae Jepson. Moments of comical choreography created a fine contrast to the more emotive numbers, and the addition of a tap dance break from vocalist Rory Hill in Olly Mursâ€™s â€˜Dance With Me Tonightâ€™ was a particular crowd-pleaser. The up-tempo numbers were attacked with boundless energy and the rhythmical intricacies in John Mayerâ€™s melancholy â€˜Slow Dancing in a Burning Roomâ€™ were handled with impressive flair. Â With dynamic soloists and a consistently strongÂ bass section, All the Kingâ€™s Men maintained vocal precision throughout.
Unlike the semblance of many other collegiate a cappella groups, which conformed to the Glee stereotype, All the Kingâ€™s Men was not annoyingly hubristic but rather alluringly homespun. The Men connected superbly with the audience and executed Knight Fever! with a modest charm which left the audience begging for more.
At their final show, fringe-goers were literally queuing around the block to get a ticket. All the Kingâ€™s Men have asserted themselves as the cream of the collegiate a cappella crop, and I have no doubt that theyâ€™ll be back next year for a longer run.