• Published: Aug 4th, 2014
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[Review] Peter Straker: Black Magic

* * * * (4 Stars)

Promising an hour of music from one of the great names of musical theatre and popular, ‘Peter Straker: Black Magic’ has all the ingredients but doesn’t quite manage to make the perfect cake at Pleasance One.

I’ll be honest here, if I can manage to be as active as Straker is when I reach 70 I’ll be a happy man. But any showman will know that your reputation is only as good as the last show. Straker has the ability to engage with the audience, to sell emotion, anger, delight, and fascination. From the first confident stride through the audience as the show opens to the final delicate moments, the talents gained throughout forty-five years on the stage were on display.

If I had to make any complaints, it’s that the choice of songs felt a little pedestrian. By all means, Straker should have his favourites in the mix (as he rightly indulges himself at the end of the set with Jacques Brel’s ‘If You Go Away’). I just felt that many of the songs did not allow Straker to showcase his voice.

Yes there were moments where he soared and the atmosphere felt electric, but he never capitalised on them to create a connection to the audience. Straker’s fans (and there are many) will not be disappointed as he rolls out the standards. For those less familiar with the Jamaican-born singer’s career there’s nothing on offer here that would you want to explore the back catalogue.

This is an enjoyable hour and it does offer value for money, but I left feeling that there was more to Straker and his music that should have been on stage.

* * * * (4 Stars)
Peter Straker –┬áBlack Magic
Pleasance

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