Review- Pageant The Musical- Hong Kong Singers


By Lizzi Wood




“My face hurts from smiling so much,” says the man behind me as the show finishes and he’s leaving his seat. My sore palms, aching tummy, and coarse throat agree with him in testament of how much I’d clapped, laughed, whopped and hollered throughout the show, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.



Pageant the Musical was a light-hearted, hilariously funny and incredibly entertaining offering from The Hong Kong Singers. It was fronted by a very talented cast of performers including the band, who were onstage throughout. Though small, the band worked perfectly for the show and the size of the theatre. Tittering between themselves about what was going on onstage, at times I found it just as entertaining to watch them react to the action as to watching the act itself. The brief moments of interaction between the band members and the characters added to the light-hearted feel of the show too.



Jane Archibald was a brilliant compere, her facial expressions and over the top character had me howling with laughter. Reminiscent of an old-school TV Show host her character momentarily whisked me off to sit on the sofa at home with my Mum on a Saturday night in the 90’s watching The Generation Game. I liked that Frankie (Archibald’s character) didn’t just use the front row when picking judges. I’d imagine most of the audience were expecting predictable and easily accessible front row picks but he chose audience members from all around; it was amusing to watch him bounding over and precariously balancing upon the seats and it means that NO-ONE IS SAFE!! The Pageant contestants were all brilliantly performed by, SPOILER ALERT, a group of men! I don’t want to add another spoiler alert so will just say that each of the contestants’ individual talents were fantastic – amazingly performed or comically entertaining (and often both).



The spokeswoman sections were my favourites, I really enjoyed the reveal of each creative ‘Glamouresse’ product. I was routing for, larger than life, Miss. Deep South (her singing trio was truly masterful) and was glad that she won, although all of the contestants were very worthy of the crown. I’d love to know who wins each night; perhaps The Singers will update Pageant the Musical fans via Facebook?



Perhaps the recent offering of ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ here in Hong Kong made me feel that creating more of a performance of the technical side of things, for example, bringing props on and off could’ve fitted nicely into the humour of the show – especially when a trolley full of props crashed into a barrier on its exit from the stage!!



My only, slight, criticism (if I had to pick at something) would be that the, very minimal, set and props seemed to lack the ‘finishing touch.' The curtain along the back a little wonky, the banner around the band not quite wrapped smoothly and the finishing on some props not quite smooth. I’m aware that this might have been a stylistic choice, to keep the humour running through the whole show. I felt that, if this was the case, it wasn’t quite big enough. I thought it needed to either be a little less finished or a little more finished to make the choice more obvious.




If you have managed to get tickets already, then you’re in for a fabulous time. It was a great mid-week lift for me and am sure it will continue to carry people’s high spirits into the weekend! If you haven’t yet got your tickets then, unfortunately, you’ve missed out on this one, as tickets are sold out for the rest of the run.


For more information about this production click here

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 4.0


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