Melbourne Fringe: Miss Fletcher Sings The Blues

When the geography teacher at a boys private school is off sick, it falls to Miss Fletcher (Hayley Sproull) the music teacher to fill in. As she’s not so suited to the subject matter, Miss Fletcher Sings the Blues is a session of musical comedy to help steer the boys through the awkwardness of their adolescence.

Hayley Sproull in "Miss Fletcher Sings The Blues"
Hayley Sproull

I chose to see this as I was quite up for some blues and was disappointed to find out just before the show from its flier that there was no actual blues involved. I might have been able to get over this more easily had I not recently seen a show with jazz in its title that contained no actual jazz. I hope this fashion for uninformative show titles has passed by Fringe 2015.

On the musical side, from her keyboard Miss Fletcher delivers a range of tunes, dispensing advice for the students and disclosing thoughts on the boys beyond those that might be considered as strictly professional. The humour was well-received, such as through her takeoff of Coolio in giving styling tips to the boys through “Moustache Paradise”.

At times the humour did seem to be aimed at the level of amusing students. Also there are times when Sproull spends a bit too long ridiculing the pupils making up the audience, and some tunes don’t fit the theme of the show as well as others. However, she gets top marks for her talent at mimicking famous vocalists, and for a delicious point where being supportive of privileged brats becomes just too much to bear. Her promise as a musical educator is clear, and with some more class time she’ll develop a more cohesive lesson plan.

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