Songs in Film is a simple concept for a cabaret show – a review of the greatest music from the silver screen. Joe Stilgoe takes this simple idea and transforms it into an outstanding, unforgettable, unmissable cabaret production.
Joe Stilgoe, British pianist, vocalist and songwriter, is a modern musical genius (seriously, that’s not overstating it). He and his band – beat-smith Ben Reynolds on drums and virtuosic double bassist Tom Farmer – take movie music to a new level. After opening with an extended mash-up of film classics including Star Wars, The Deer Hunter, West Side Story, Psycho and The Sound of Music to name just a few, the audience is left wondering “where to from here”? Luckily, in a production that is essentially a 60-minute highlights reel, every musical number is better than the last.
‘Cartooning Up’, a nostalgic journey through the cartoons of yester-year, was a highlight, leaving the audience stifling their cries of “The Flintstones!”, “Snow White!” or “The Looney Tunes!” in that moment of blissful recognition. Similarly, the tribute to the film scores of the 80s, featuring classics like Rocky, Top Gun, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and so, so, so many more, kept audiences giggling on the edge of their seats.
In a show where snippets of songs were the norm, the few ‘full’ numbers provided a pleasant reprieve from the constantly stimulating medleys. The pared back ‘Rhythm of Life’ was a crowd favourite and drew rapturous applause. On the other hand, during ‘When Somebody Loved Me’ from Toy Story 2, you could have heard a pin drop. Joe Stilgoe held the audience in his hand, and we loved it!
The creativity, energy, musicality, (and did I mention creativity?) in Songs in Film is second to none. Even if you have spent the last 100 years having never engaged in popular culture and having never seen a film, Songs in Film is absolutely worth watching. It is a brilliant slice of cabaret.