One more cup of coffee and then we'll save the world

One more cup of coffee and then we'll save the world
Adelaide Fringe 2018. Presented by Majk Stokes. Basem3nt Studio, Featherstone Place. February 21st to March 3rd, 2018

One more cup of coffee and then we’ll save the world is a show that is evocative of the 1960’s smokey coffee houses in Australia, where protest and love were the key themes.

The show opens gently with a man, his hat, his acoustic guitar and a single microphone. The venue is intimate, seating about two dozen people. Do not dress warmly as the Basem3nt is a warm space.

Majk (pronounced Mike) Stokes is a comedy singer-songwriter, poet, environmentalist and Quaker, based in Edinburgh in the UK. His subject matter takes in everything from deep ecology to science fiction and superheroes and all are skilfully woven into original songs using the combined styles and wit of Bob Dylan and Tom Lehrer (who was banned in Adelaide in the 1960’s). Majk has performed on four continents in both adult and children’s theatre. His songs are original and the message is quietly passionate.

Majk has appeared regularly at the Edinburgh Festival for over 20 years and has had a regular festival show there show since 2013. His first album was a fundraiser for an orphanage in Madagascar that raised over GB 20,000 pounds.

He doesn’t approve of flying because of the environmental impact, but agreed to visit his sister in Melbourne. So, on opening night here in Adelaide he invited the small, but very appreciative audience to follow his progress on Facebook as he is planning, when he returns home, to plant 80 trees to offset the carbon miles from the trip to Australia.

Majik opens his show with an ode to coffee and progresses through a good dose of organics inspired songs. A highlight is a song about his clandestine affair with beetroot where a clever play on words encourages “Beetroot to me and I’ll be true to you”.

The show embraces a variety of musical styles and includes a pacey Dylanesque blues song.

The lyrics swing from poignant messages about the role of bees in the environment, to the witty exploration of where will the bears “go” if human carelessness wipes out the trees in the woods. The audience love a “sing along chorus” in the “We Need Bees” song where clever, complex rhyme is a feature.

Provoking and also moving is the song entitled, “What does a superhero do when he is feeling blue?” where he explores the human need to fit in and feel like “normal folk”.

Majk is a very individual and versatile song writer and songs and poems are his strength. A self-confessed self-effacing performer, his opening patter will have greater power as an audience winner if his confidence matches his passion. On opening night, the introduction and some of the linking narrative was a little disjointed, making it a little slow to begin with. Having said that, the show warmed up and the topical songs full of complex themes laced with wit and humour were audience pleasers. Majk is planning to lead a “quiet revolution”, saving the world bit by bit and reminding us to “leave a world for our descendants”.

This show is an outing for those who are passionate about folk music, the environment, and loads and loads of great coffee. What is not to love about a man who eschews instant coffee and only devotes three seconds of song to it compared with the colourful songs dedicated to a quality brew? Now for him to save the world.

Jude Hines

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