James McLean - A Kick in the Head and Other Seduction Techniques

The Crown and Sceptre Hotel – Courtroom 32.  1 March 2012.


A Kick in the Head is a tale about one young man’s attempts to navigate the peaks and pitfalls of love.  Single and determined to change this, his search for companionship takes many a twist and turn as he learns to find his own approach to wooing the ladies.


This witty and well-written piece is the first for McLean, a graduate of the Flinders University Drama Centre.  It’s a lovely story, intertwined with classics from crooners such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.  In an inspired choice, it features the wonderful talents of pianist David McEvoy on key accompaniment.


To be honest, there are things to pick at in this show.  McLean’s voice is not up to a solo Cabaret performance.  He shows good promise, but requires more confidence, accuracy and vocal projection.


He admirably mixes Cabaret and comedy, but it was a nervous performance particularly during the first half. While jitters are completely understandable, they make comedic timing and strong vocals difficult to achieve.  He steadied over the performance and hit his strides in time to deliver a strong conclusion.


McLean’s strengths are in his writing, and the rest will come with time.  Kudos should go to him for creating an interesting and engaging piece for his first public foray into Cabaret.  This is something to be treasured in the Fringe, where performance talent generally abounds amongst a dearth of production and writing skill.


Look out for more from McLean in the future.


Nicole Russo


When: 26 Feb -17 March
Where: The Crown and Sceptre Hotel – Courtroom 32
Bookings: www.adelaidefringe.com.au