Our review of Aca-ting Out at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Aca-ting Out is an hour of a capella music performed by the Oxford Belles, the University of Oxford’s female and non-binary a capella group.
The group was established in 1995 to challenge the male dominated music scene in Oxford at the time. The group continues to spread their message of female empowerment, and here they are performing a selection of feminist anthems.
The group provides all the bass lines and accompaniment, whilst also singing all of the tunes with no more assistance than a pitching whistle. It’s a remarkable technical achievement.
There’s a huge number of tunes contained within the show. Some will be more familiar than others.
What comes across very strongly is that the group must have spent a huge amount of time both building the arrangements of the songs and medleys, and in rehearsals perfecting them.
The songs are not performed statically. There is gentle but occasionally complex choreography that matches the lyrical intent of the various tunes.
The group all appear to have immense confidence, although at this first performance at this year’s Fringe the very occasional nerve could be spotted.
The hugely appreciative audience made this a collective experience filled with joy.
For the majority of the show’s running time, the group allows the music to do the talking, but when they do briefly address the audience it is to mention their charity single and the cause they are supporting.
With incredible technical skills, slick choreography, and pitch perfect singing, this is a great way to pass an hour during the busy Edinburgh Fringe.
Aca-ting Out continues at the Edinburgh Fringe until 19th August
Featured Image Credit: Edinburgh Festival Fringe