Review: 80’s Rewind at the Barnyard Rivonia

What can one say about Barnyard shows? You know you’re not going for the high-brow theatre experience!! If you want a fun evening of good, rollicking entertainment where you can sing along, clap your hands, and get up and dance, this is the place to go.

Of late, I have found that the calibre of the shows being produced by the Barnyard group have certainly improved in their level of sophistication and slick production. However, 80’s Rewind takes us back to a time (many years ago) when the Barnyard was very much in its experimental stage.

So … bad news first: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such appalling costumes in any stage production – ever!! An ill-fitting hodge-podge of what looks like scraps sewn together from every type of leftover, forgotten garment in the back of the wardrobe department, complete with a white tassled dress with long threads hanging off it! The entire show is a wardrobe malfunction of preposterous proportions! And by the way – I was there in the 80’s and although my memory may have faded with age, I don’t EVER recall a dress-code resembling anything close to what was worn on that stage last night!

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Out of the 3 female performers (2 singers, 1 dancer), only 1 met the criteria for a decent (Barnyard) performer (she could sing AND dance). The other female singer, clearly had no dance skills whatsoever and even struggled to co-ordinate waving her arms in the air when called to do so! It’s possible that trees during a hurricane are more graceful! That said, however, she does have a beautiful voice, but unfortunately this is diminished by her lack of stage presence. The dancer, however, did her best to make up for her fellow performer’s lack of … ummm … performance! Every single move she made was completely over-exaggerated, so much so, that it actually became painful to watch her and her attempts to detract from anyone else on stage with her! I was concerned that she might do herself (or someone else) an injury!

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Ok, so now that’s out of the way, on to the good news! The male performers surpass their female cast members by far! The band is excellent – particularly the lead guitarist, and the awesome female drummer! The drag scene, which seems to be a Barnyard tradition, is just brilliant, ending with an epic rendition of ‘It’s Raining Men’ (definitely one of the show’s highlights). If you’re looking for ‘camp’ without the tents and dodgy communal bathrooms, these guys really know how to deliver!  Barnyard 9Barnyard 8Barnyard 4Barnyard 7Barnyard 1

I also always tend to leave the Barnyard marvelling at the amount of hidden talent we have here in SA – and many of the performers in the various Barnyard shows I’ve seen are incredibly talented. Despite the many (really) bad elements of this particular show, it is still extremely enjoyable, especially if you love 80’s music, which only goes to show that whatever formula the Barnyard production team are using, definitely works.

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