Me and My Shadow

Me and My Shadow
Written and performed by Tim Maddren. The Basement – as part of Sideshow. Arts Centre, Gold Coast. Dec 1st and 2nd, 2017, then Touring.

Like so many of our great stage performers, Tim Maddren trained at WAAPA and honed his skills in Musical Theatre (he’s just finished a run in Me and My Girl at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney after string of other shows). Unlike so many others, Maddren has a legitimate claim to fame – as any pre-teen will tell you. He is a multi award nominated member of the kids’ television musical group Hi-5. He’s a multi skilled musician with a warm and winning personality and a great voice – all of which makes him the perfect candidate for a cabaret show of his own, in which he sings songs from his three favourite singers – Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Bobby Darin. One wonders if the title shouldn’t perhaps be “Me and my Shadows” (plural) since it seems the artists are always beside him.

Impeccably dressed (and what a nice surprise that is) and with fabulous accompaniment by pianist Russell Dick (though the significance of “Greensleeves” as an overture escapes me), Tim gives us HIS versions of the iconic hits of his three idols. The voice is everything you want and expect, and the persona is witty and endearing. Maddren is the full package.

The shape of the show, and the context for the songs, does need refocussing, particularly the charming, but random, dance number with his beautiful wife Stephanie. But it’s an easy fix to give it a “raison d’etre” by referencing Sinatra and Gene Kelly – and having her appear from the audience like a dream - especially given that Mrs Maddren does not look unlike the Cyd Charisse, and certainly has legs to rival hers. Highlights for me were “Mr Bojangles” and a very funny (after a sombre introduction) of Darin’s “Splish-Splash”, but there’s no denying his amazing singing on Anthony Newley’s “Who can I turn to?” (recorded by Sammy Davis Junior), which is poignantly intro’d with a story about Fremantle prison.

This is a show that is still in development and it needs to be completely rounded before it is ready for major cabaret venues. However, with all the talent that Maddren brings to the stage, it’s really only a matter of time.

Coral Drouyn

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