Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Overall rating: ★★★★ Date attended: 27/02/2019
When celebrated and sought-after music critic Tom G.K. was given the news about his hearing loss less than 10 years ago, he decided to put a spin on the life-changing news by turning it into a musical.
The idea of being a star and being famous attracted Tom G. K. right from the start and it became prominent with his warm and friendly stage presence, as he made sure that everyone around him was comfortable and having a good time in his company. As the show progressed, Tom G. K. was able to channel a true and honest account of his hearing loss and how it deteriorated over time, whilst trying to keep his ties within the music industry attached as strongly as he could.
Donning a top bowler hat that came on and off throughout the show, Tom G. K. offered his audiences with a one-of-a-kind, unusual, and entertaining show, where he mixed narrative and storytelling with the sound of music and the power of lyrics that clearly demonstrated it as a way for Tom G. K. to come to terms with what has been a life-altering process. There was an eventual level of acceptance that is achieved, as the show progressed. Tom G. K. serenaded us with songs whose lyrics tugged at your heartstrings, as he used his soulful voice and his relaxed keyboard music to capture the reality of it all hitting him like a train.
Tom G. K. was particularly able to create a bold statement around his diagnosis by chanting a very thoughtful line: "There's no humour in having so many tumours." He has the likeable signature British charm that instantly won the hearts of his audience, as he articulately took us on a storytelling journey around coming to terms with his hearing loss.
Unlike other musicals, Tom G. K. brushed off clichés around what a typical musical would entail (such as grand theatrical gestures or bursting into song without warning) and instead, relied on his keyboard, his voice, and the occasional 'word list' pre-recorded track that intensified as the show progressed, to symbolize the worsening of his hearing impairment. Making light of his condition, Tom G. K. was able to inject a fun and positive perspective into something serious and thereby, inviting his audience to look at his hearing loss as a way of transforming him into the individual that he has become today.
While it is an unlikely consequence of his condition, Tom G. K. is on the verge of cementing his career in music, performing arts, and theatre with a solid foundation. He has the people skills, he has the stage presence, and he has the authenticity to create content that is powerful, enlightening, and comforting in its rawest form.
Tom G.K.'s shows with the Adelaide Fringe may have finished for the season, but we can be rest assured that there are big things waiting for him in the music industry, with a soulful voice, a sheer sense of determination, and a likeability factor that will easily help him connect with his audiences.