Review: African Show Boyz

Contagious energy and passion drive this performance of African dance, music and random circus tricks. ★★★½

Mar 07, 2016, updated Mar 07, 2016

From a small village in Ghana, the five brothers that make up African Show Boyz  bring their vibrant culture to Adelaide for the first time at this year’s Adelaide Fringe.

The charismatic performers fill The Panama Club at the Royal Croquet Club with their energy from the moment they dance onto the stage. With beaming smiles and traditional instruments, they offer a contagious, feel-good show that comes at the perfect time for festival-goers to warm up their toes ready for WOMADelaide next weekend.

The group’s combination of traditional music and dance is infectious. When the brothers take to the dance floor, you can feel the audience’s energy lift and it feels like we are being given an authentic glimpse of the vibrant Ghanaian culture. Unfortunately, these moments are awkwardly punctuated with the odd circus trick and slightly underwhelming magic illusions.

Despite these unnecessary distractions, it is the upbeat and inspirational music that shines through as the essence of African Show Boyz. It left members of the audience with a spring in their step and the misguided belief that we could dance with the same elegant rhythm as the Sabbah brothers.

This is the type of music that lends itself to being played well into the night without stage managers giving the signal to wrap-up. Unfortunately, the 60-minute show we attended came to an awkward end –were we being invited on stage to dance with the band or ushered out of the venue? Both at the same time, it seemed.

With so many tapping toes and people conservatively dancing in their seats, the invitation that Adelaide audiences often need to get up and dance could’ve come earlier and seen the show end on a real high.

Three-and-a-half stars

African Show Boyz is playing again at The Panama Club in The Royal Croquet Club on March 6 and 13.

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