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Naomi Price was commanding from the outset of her latest show, RUMOUR HAS IT – a cabaret style homage to superstar Adele, impeccably portraying of one of the most powerful voices of our generation with nuance and charisma.

Dressed in a striking, close-fitting black dress, Price had audiences mesmerised from the opening song, with the potency of her raspy voice indicative of the strength of her sensational performance throughout the whole show.

Delighting fans of Adele with renditions of some of her biggest hits from record-breaking albums 192125 and 30, Price was supported by a team of talented musicians and vocalists and that enhanced the theatricality of the evening’s performance. Entertaining the crowd was an impressive 20-strong live band who complemented the talents of both Price and guest vocalists Rachel Everett-Jones, Luke Kennedy and Lai Utovou to spectacular effect.

Price’s commitment to embodying the essence of Adele, with the thick North London accent, personable demeanour and self-deprecating humour was key in developing a strong rapport with her audience, breaking the fourth wall as they were transported back to 1988 where it all started for Adele who was born and raised in Tottenham. At times bawdy and irreverent, Price’s performance showed great range to reveal the complexity of her muse and exposing her vulnerabilities offering a personal glimpse behind Adele’s public persona. Her reverence for the sacrifices made by her single mother, and an emotionally charged assessment of the relationship she had with her mostly absent father created intimacy with the audience. This was balanced out with well-placed jokes delivered with expert timing and the liberal sprinkling of swear words that would make a sailor blush. Price hit the mark and had the audience enthralled.

The staging was simple, with effective lighting and the momentary use of falling golden ribbons and bubble machines to add a little atmosphere. The show was well-paced, and the enigmatic Price had the audience enthralled as she recounted transformative moments typical of Adele’s conversational informality before belting out soulful hits that ruled the airwaves with palpable energy.

It’s clear that Price had as much fun performing as the crowd had watching, and that enjoyment was most on display during a medley that mashed up some of Adele’s songs with several hits from the Spice Girls, leaving the toe-tapping audience captivated.

Price proved herself to be a master of inducing audience participation, working the room and initiating interactions where the gentle ribbing and disarming patrons with friendly banter which added to the enjoyment of the evening for all.

The interval offered patrons a chance to discuss Price’s performance, comparing her sound to Adele’s over a glass of wine. Responses to that question were mixed, but generally reviews were positive. While not flawless, Price embodied the spirit of the set numbers, with patrons overwhelmingly offering positive reviews.

After the interval and a costume change, Price belted out some of Adele’s best-known songs including the Oscar winning ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Someone Like You’, which had audiences singing along and by the end of the show, there was dancing in the aisles in what was ultimately, an entertaining night out at the State Theatre.


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