Fringe review: Hughman

Hughman could be the happiest place in the world right now. With unbridled joy, Hugh Sheridan raises the bar, lifts spirits and serves up unadulterated fun. ★★★★

Mar 07, 2021, updated Mar 07, 2021

Back on home turf, Adelaide-born Hugh Sheridan is exactly where he is meant to be – on stage singing, dancing and spreading joy at the Adelaide Fringe.

Sheridan leads the show on the decks, spinning everything from Whitney Houston and George Michael to Sister Sledge, Olivia Newton-John, MJ, Sinatra and Walk the Moon. It’s just as well that dancing is now permitted in SA; trying to stay seated throughout the show would be impossible.

Featuring an ensemble of dancers who match Sheridan’s energy with high-voltage tap, exhilarating disco moves and old school cabaret, Hughman is a feast of music, colour and costume, enhanced by a spectacular light show.

Having first became a household name through his Logie-winning performance as Ben Rafter on long-running TV show Packed to the Rafters, Sheridan is an accomplished singer and dancer who demonstrates with this show that he can also DJ and wrangle a high-energy crowd to have them eating out of his hand.

The first-class cast oozes talent and creates an ecstasy reminiscent of an age where indulgence and disco ruled supreme. Live music is added into the mix with musician “AJ” on sax and flute, plus live singing and the rhythm of world-class tap dancers.

The Moa at Gluttony has taken on a new life as an open-air, all-weather venue, perfectly suited to large-scale productions such as this. Audience members are well spaced and instructed to dance only in front of their seat, which ensures crowd safety and also means there is plenty of room to move.

On opening night, Sheridan proposed to his boyfriend. On night two, his dad was in the audience and joined in for the final number. The fact that the star of the show is an Adelaide boy adds a heart-warming authenticity to Hughman, and he seems entirely at home on the stage.

This show aims to do one thing: Give people a good time. It’s as simple as that. Forget everything else the moment you walk into the venue. For one hour, it’s all about disco, dance and good times. If there was a roof over Moa, it would be well and truly lifted.

Hughman is playing at The Moa (open-air) at Gluttony – Rymill Park until March 14.

Read more Adelaide Fringe reviews and previews  here.

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