Resplendent. Joyous. Captivating. The list can go on and on and never feels too gratuitous when describing the Soweto Gospel Choir. Playing nearly every night of the 2020 Adelaide Fringe within Gluttony’s Cornucopia, the three-time Grammy award-winning choir have perfected the art of performance.

An empty stage unadorned but for a brightly patterned back-drop, the show begins with the beating of drums and guttural cries and yells back stage. Flooding the stage ablaze in dresses, shirts and vests of every colour, the ensemble enters their first number in an arrow head arrangement – sharp eyes staring at their enthralled audience and they strike their feet, pump their arms into the air and release thunder with their voices.

The choir moves and enters songs dynamically: rigidity isn’t made for music with this much soul, heart, and warmth. Standing in two lines, choir members flow to the front of the stage for solos and bounce off one another singing as much for themselves as for the audience. Choir members also take turns dancing along, showcasing their ability to move their bodies in dance just as well as they sing and project their voices. Accompanied by drums and keyboard, you can find yourself questioning what’s the use of an orchestra anyway, with the range and spectrum of voices such as these.

Moving through classical songs of South American freedom anthems and gospel, to finishing with international classic such as Hallelujah and James Brown’s I Feel Good; the only thing that remains consistent throughout the show is the pride, and jubilant smiles on all choir members faces. This show is for them first and foremost, and a special gift for the lucky spectators witnessing something very unique.

Smiles abound in the audience, and as they reluctantly leave the venue. Everyone appears to be walking with a little more spring in their step and sparkle in their eyes.

A beautiful night out that will leave you feeling good for days to come.

5 Stars

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By Grace Kungel