The Gospo Choir are Adelaide’s most prominent Gospel choir, and strongly believe in creating transcendent music that brings people together. This belief is clearly embedded within Gospolation, a performance that unerringly blends spiritual hymns and modern grooves. Directed by Charmaine Jones-Devasagayam, this incredible show will provide you with inimitable remixes that will stay in your head long after the performance is over.
As soon as the house lights dimmed within the newest Fringe venue – Cirque Africa Bigtop – an expectant hush fell over the packed-out crowd. As the stage filled with the band, the backing choir and the Gospo choir, the excitement in the air was tangible. Charmaine’s presence commanded everyone’s attention as she took the stage and her soulful voice filled the room. As the show kicked off, it immediately became apparent this is not your average choir. Charmaine’s exhilaration and passion was reflected in each and every performer on stage and it was infectious; after just one song almost every audience member was beaming in joy.
Gospolation showcases the intricacies of the human voice in a way I’ve never seen (or heard) before. Under the precise guidance of Charmaine, the members of both the main and backing choirs sung their lungs out and harmonised so flawlessly, it was truly spine-tingling. The bright sequin-studded outfits donned by the Gospo choir were a perfect match for the vibrant energy of the music. The songs shifted seamlessly, moving gospel choruses and nostalgic melodies (such as Kirk Franklin’s ‘123 Victory’ and Ike & Tina Turner’s ‘River Deep Mountain High’) to current Western R’n’B, Hip-Hop and Pop. The dynamic layering of sacred songs under well-known tunes such as Rihanna’s ‘Work’, Justin Timerlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ or The Weekend’s ‘I Feel It Coming’ highlight Charmaine’s directive genius and the pure talent of these gifted musicians and singers. The performance somehow felt evocative, meaningful, playful, ageless and contemporary all in one.
The only thing that could have possibly made this night better arrived in the form of SA’s beloved Maggie Beer making a cameo appearance. Her clear delight at being involved in this event was absolutely contagious, as the crowd happily cheered and clapped along to the beat. This exuberance lasted right through the choir’s very last song (for which they received a well-deserved standing ovation from many audience members). Unsurprisingly most of Gospolation’s shows have sold out, however a limited number of tickets have been released for this Sunday the 26th; grab yourself one here so you can experience the sheer magic of Gospolation this Fringe.
Star Rating: 5/5
Where: Cirque Africa Bigtop, Hindmarsh Square
When: 22nd - 26th of February
Header image via Adelaide Fringe's website.