|The Tap Pack
From 1 to 19 May at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre near Aldwych, classic jazz and mesmeric tap dancing are brought together in one high-energy show. Inspired by the suave sounds and cool characters of the original Rat Pack, five performers and a four-piece live band inject new life into this timeless style. Leah Williams reports:
Sadly for us, the chances of walking into a theatre and getting to see the legendary members of the Rat Pack do their thing is, well, pretty slim to say the least. Luckily for us, though, a celebrated Australian dance group are providing the opportunity to see an all-singing, all-dancing show that encapsulates the cool, slick, enduring joy of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.
Offering a show that embraces the classic and adds a modern twist, The Tap Pack promises to be the perfect combination of song, dance and comedy entertainment. Featured songs include classics from the Rat Pack themselves such as The Lady is a Tramp, Come Fly with Me and That’s Life that will take you straight back to that golden era. At the same time, the show also fully embraces the 21st Century and adds its own special touch to modern-day hits from pop royalty such as Beyoncé, Michael Bublé and Ed Sheeran.
The show, which has previously toured Australia, Berlin and Beijing, will be landing on our capital’s doorstep at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre next month. The first tap show to feature at the theatre for several years, this comedy tap extravaganza was invited to London after being seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016, where it won the Spirit of the Fringe award.
A show that defies easy definition, The Tap Pack presents the type of fun, all-round entertainment the Peacock Theatre is renowned for. With swing music at its heart, it is a show full to the brim with tap dancing, singing and witty banter that reflects the cheeky, old-school coolness of its inspiration.
Sammy Davis Jr. is quoted as saying that “the success of the Rat Pack was due to the camaraderie, the three guys who work together and kid each other and love each other.” There was indeed an undeniable chemistry that has made the Rat Pack the unique and timeless collaboration that it is, loved by all from those who might have seen them live to those who listen to remastered versions online today.
The Tap Pack also embraces this essence of friendship and creative collaboration to create an indefinable energy on stage. One of the show’s creators Jordan Pollard said: “The Rat Pack were genuine pals on and off stage. So too are The Tap Pack and I think audiences may be able to feel the friendships on stage and know that they are seeing great mates who love what they do! You can definitely feel the mischief on stage – every night is a little bit different and we encourage everyone to keep it spontaneous. This has got to be the best show I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on!”
“The Pack” is made up of five of Australia’s hottest entertainment talents: Jesse Rasmussen, Thomas J. Egan, Sean Mulligan, Max Patterson and Ben Brown, all of whom have a list of impressive credits to their name. They are joined on stage by a swinging live band led by Micky Bister on drums alongside Simon Ferris on keys, Jac Jones on saxophone and Ben Cummings on trumpet.(pp)