Five Guys Named Moe ★★★★★ Upstairs at the Gatehouse | Dec 15, 2021 - Jan 16, 2022


In Clarke Peters' Five Guys Named Moe the titular guys invade Nomax's tipsy world by popping out of his radio, and they then give him, and us, a night to remember. This may be a small-scale revival but it is a huge success! Incorporating Louis Jordan's wonderful back catalogue of songs, Peters has created a superb entertainment which ran for four years in the West End. Here it is played on a small traverse stage and yet it works perfectly. Juan Jackson as Nomax uses his gorgeous baritone to perfection. The five Moes – KM Drew Boateng, Andre Coulson, AJ Lewis, Christian Maynard and Kieran McGinn – work brilliantly as individuals and especially as a team, whether singing as a close harmony combo or dancing as a group. They tear up the floor in Mykal Rand's exuberant, and frequently very clever, choreography. This is a wonderfully uplifting and occasionally zany collection of songs – complete with the obligatory chicken feathers in "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens." John Reddel's five piece band adds terrific colour and verve throughout. We found it impossible not to be swept along with the marvellously colourful atmosphere created by these top grade performances of Jordan's songs. The final big number, "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby," left the audience cheering for more. Rand's production gives us a tremendous evening which oozes style and panache. This show that brings joy back into our lives could be retitled Six Guys Named WOW!

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Timothy Kelly.

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