Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Judith Wright Centre

Judith Wright Centre & The Little Red Company 

24th – 28th April 2013



Reviewed by Xanthe Coward



Rumour has it The Little Red Company is planning to take Sixty Minutes Inside Adele overseas.



Rumour Has It. Naomi Price. Image by Dylan Evans.

I first saw this show in Stockholm (Brisbane’s short-lived cabaret space upstairs at Stockholm Syndrome Cafe and Bar in Albion) after it had premiered at the Gold Coast Arts Centre last year. Since then the work has evolved considerably, and the latest version is superior, combining spellbinding vocals and slick, witty patter – less of it – with a hot band (Jason McGregor, Andrew Johnson, Mik Easterman & Brett Fowler) and three polished performers on backing vocals (Rachel Everett-JonesLuke Kennedy & Laisiasa Utovou).


The Judy has never felt so welcoming, with a free exhibition in the Shopfront by Photographer Dylan Evans (The Dylan Evans Experience features Adele Uncovered, a collection of “candid” shots of Naomi Price as Adele), and a brand new configuration inside the theatre, at Price’s request, to avoid distancing herself from her audience. Price is a performer who knows instinctively what an audience wants. And she delivers on every level.


The Up Late show at 10pm on Friday night followed hot on the high black heels of an earlier performance so in the foyer as we collected our tickets and exchanged hugs and kisses (MWAH!) with a crowd that included Chris Beckey, Lauren Jackson, Thomas Larkin, Guy Frawley and Samantha Turk (on her stopover between London and Tanzania. More on that in another post!), there was already a wonderful crossover taking place, as people spilled out and collided into those who were waiting to take their seats inside. There was amazing energy in the air, and a level of excitement usually reserved for opening nights.


Naomi Price, possessing greater talent than I suspect even she realises, has reached an exciting place with this version of the show. Co-created with Adam Brunes over gin on the back deck, and refined over five recent seasons across the country, Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is a very different show. It’s suddenly a great deal more sophisticated, thrusting Price back into a spotlight she’d stepped away from for a year, if you recall, of touring schools and teaching singers. Price seems to have realised (or remembered) where it is she belongs and that is in the spotlight, in front of a captivated crowd.


The ambience is helped by big perfect sound, by Jason Glenwright’s swish lighting design (this guy is EVERYWHERE!), featuring a fantastic collection of vintage lamp shades, hanging at various lengths in various places about the space, and the rather ramshackle relaxed and cosy “cabaret” style seating arrangement. It’s easy to envisage this show going on in any of the world’s top cabaret venues. It’s as if this extra show has been added to let us know it’s now ready for the international circuit. (I can’t wait to see it again soon, Supper Club style, in the intimate space of berardo’s during the internationally renowned Noosa Long Weekend Festival!)


Every number is stronger and sassier than before. There’s a new intensity, and something between sympathy and integrity replaces much of the parody. We see more of Adele and fewer of her superfluous layers, which have been stripped away by a couple of pairs of discerning eyes during the redevelopment process. The subtle changes make for a slicker, more honest performance.


Rumour Has It. Naomi Price. Image by Dylan Evans.

A master of mood change, Price takes us effortlessly from one number to the next, for the first time stepping into the audience with her Musical Director Jason McGregor to sing Daydreamer amidst a cloud of bubbles. She quips about the low (“emerging Queensland artists”) production budget and that sadly, bubbles were the best they could do. It’s funny because it’s true. (How lucky are our artists, to have venues and presenters like The Judy supporting them? More on THAT in another post!). In the same breath, the song takes over in an extended, spellbinding moment that could just as easily, in somebody else’s hands, have come across as a cheap way into a gorgeous song, and not in the least bit funny or entertaining. There are several moments like this throughout the show, when Price so expertly manipulates content and form to achieve the desired response from her audience that we find we’re swept along with her – by her – before we know it.





This is pure and simple magic; the command of the craft and the compelling connection between artist and audience only ever created by the most accomplished and confident performers.


And in case we are in any doubt at all about the artist’s phenomenal talent or broad appeal, before the night is over, Price doles out some wicked send-ups of notable singers, including the Spice Girls, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift and Amy Winehouse. In another new addition, her soaring rendition of Skyfall is sublime. We see, once again, that in any guise Price first serves the lyric, and lives out every moment of her heartfelt story through song.



There’s no doubt that Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is ready for a global audience. There’s even a twelve-month window while Adele is in “lock-down mode” and The Little Red Company would do well to fill the gap.


Nathanael Cooper said it too: this show is a star vehicle and Naomi Price is about to skyrocket.


“I think the show as it stands now is a combination of the ridiculous, outlandish humour and moments of absolute poignant truth.”

Naomi Price, in an interview with Paul Andrew


2 Responses to “Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele”

  1. 1 sara
    April 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    couldn’t agree anymore Xanthe! I saw her first one at the Stockholm and adored her then, couldn’t make it to this one- kicking myself! She deserves to recognised for the wonderful talent she possesses and her and Adam make a wonderful team! ..

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