Titch is all fired up for another karaoke night in the social club, and he has all the usual punters. Caroline, who enjoys the escape of a night out singing and Kevin, who has been helping him out with the long term aspiration of making it on one of those reality TV programmes because that’s where success really lies. And then there is Rick, who adds a spark of controversy, pivoting the narrative. A one-man show from Over the Wall’s Gav Prentice, Turn the Night has more than you can imagine when you consider it is precisely that, a one-man show, but with many layers creeping in than just another night at the karaoke, there is a nostalgic intelligence about this short gig performance.
When you consider this performer’s creative history and listen to albums such as Over the Wall’s Treacherous, it’s not too unfathomable to see how this musician has transitioned to here in the Tron’s Victorian Bar, raising current, and reflective issues of the working class. Versatile with comedy, Gav Prentice performs each character with a bit of animation, a touch of panache and offers enough for you to get a glimpse of the differences in each.
The karaoke is Titch’s bag, he holds it together with a few numbers, deciding upon who is going to perform the night away. Kevin is an ambitious singer with hopes and dreams, Caroline is married to the club’s treasurer and has a lot more depth than you initially think with introduction. Rick is the treasurer, bearing the brunt of bad news, which he feels the weight of, but he is a beguiling character. Affected by experiences and with a bitter taste of life in his mouth, there is much to fuel an anger within this man.
Karaoke hits are aplenty, sang by Gav with effortless evocation, making them far from karaoke hits, using nothing more than a guitar, a karaoke machine, an old karaoke backdrop, and an emotive yet comic narrative. We are touched and surprisingly affected by what we witnessed tonight, it was not just keeping it’s head above the water via hit tracks, there was sheer substance to this performance, and made for a great night’s entertainment.