Review- Gobsmacked- Udderbelly


By: Lizzi Wood


Gobsmacked. Flabbergasted. Spellboundtasticated.


Ok, maybe I made the last one up but if a show deserves to have a word made up for them it’s Gobsmacked. Last night I attended the opening night at Udderbelly. I saw a sneak preview at the AIA Great European Carnival and knew that it was going to be an awesome show but awesome seems like such a bland word for a show that was well…"Gobsmacking"! 


The opening number ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ grabbed the audience by the ear holes from the get go and with the cast’s amazing energy and pace you were never quite sure where you were going to be thrown next. What was certain was that the whole audience was with them. This opening also introduced us to a recurring theme whereby one beatboxer ‘controls’ the music, starting and ending songs by handing over the ‘power’ to the group or an individual and taking it away to end the song.


Maybe to differentiate the group from a pop band and enhance the fact they’re an acapella singing group, the cast are all styled differently, allowing their individuality to shine through, yet they come together and work brilliantly as a vocal collective. The group consists of seven performers - two girls, one styled out in Rockabilly wear and the other in comparatively less distinctive style but with an amazing Aguilera-esque voice. One of my only quibbles with the show is that they could have done more with the second's amazing voice and I for one wanted to see it. The five guys include: a very cool, ‘down with the kids’ beat boxer, a rock-y guy (who led 'Don’t Stop Me Now') and a geek-chic bass beatboxer (with fantastic vocal range). They were professional, slick, and despite half of the front row wandering in during the opening song, they were not put off by this or the many other late comers.    


Whilst there was not a through narrative or a story to be told, some songs had their own interactions between performers based on the lyrics or theme of the song which brought another engaging layer to the performance. During these snippets of theatre came some real comical moments which had the audience in stitches, notably the beatboxer's solo section where he was trying to fine tune the sounds he wanted to play with and the clown horn kept making an unwanted appearance. There were some children behind me who found this absolutely hilarious – a great indicator that there really is something for everyone in the show. 


Despite the comical side of this solo beatbox section it did not take away from showcasing the incredible talent of this performer, who performed noises and combinations of sounds that seemed quite impossible. Even thinking about how he did some of them left my mouth and throat in a state of confusion. Following this solo section, the other beatboxer enters the stage in a bit of a strop having had none of the beatboxing limelight, and a hilarious little skit ensues, followed by a brilliant version of ‘Kiss’ by Prince. 


The set was minimal but had a cool look about it. The performers were able to interact with the set in various ways and it created an unconventional lighting design for the production. The choreography was simple but effective; whilst there wasn’t any real ‘dancey’ choreography, they performed intricate paths with and around each other and the stage, coming together for group moments and some moments of choreographed interaction that created nice little highlights. 


There were ladies grooving in their seats to ‘It’s a Man’s World’, people tapping along to ‘Ghost’ and everyone got down to ‘Uptown Funk’. I’ve got to be honest and say that 'Uptown Funk' was not their strongest song but I think most people probably didn’t care because they were all too busy with the "feel good vibe" the song brings. If you want to see a show that is cooler than Glee’s Christmas ‘Aired from the North Pole’ Special then get down to Udderbelly and prepare to have your gob thoroughly smacked!  


Gobsmacked is playing at the Udderbelly through January 6th. For more information, click here.

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hongkong, theatre, review

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 4.6


  • Kim Higuyen
    30 December 2015

    Very great. Nice beatbox and songing.
  • Jervois
    30 December 2015

    This show was absolutely phenomenal! Easily the best thing about my time spent in Asia, which says a lot because I love a good dumpling.

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