REVIEW POP STAR OF THE CENTURY

POP STAR OF THE CENTURY –  HYPERLINK “https://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk/descriptions2024.html”Johnny Dysfunctional / Doll’s House

I don’t think the makers of this show will mind when I say this is a very strange, silly show indeed. In fact, I imagine they’ll embrace that description.
Buxton singer Johnny Dysfunctional presents his personal tribute to some of the most iconic (and largely deceased) singers of all time. Aided by DJ Baz playing backing tracks, Johnny takes to the stage, performing as a series of different singers, from Elvis Presley to Amy Winehouse, from Elton John to Agnetha from ABBA, from Neil Diamond to Frankie Valli, and many other points in between. This involves chaotic costume changes and – the show’s most bizarre feature, Johnny wearing cardboard masks of each of the singers he’s representing.
There’s something surreal and slightly creepy about having the sightless eyes of a mask gazing out at you, the expression fixed and unchanging. It’s a very odd idea, but the friendly enthusiastic Buxton audience lapped it up. The main reason for this is that for all the shambolic eccentricity of the show, Johnny can actually sing and his renditions are always tuneful and accurate. A bit like Les Dawson playing the piano, you need to be good to carry off something so unusual.
At the end of the show the audience votes on their favourite from the line-up we’ve witnessed, and in a Mike Yarwood-esque ‘and this is the real me’ moment, Johnny finally appears as himself to the applause of the delighted crowd.
It’s a silly show, indeed, but strangely irresistible.
Robbie Carnegie