You might know Barry Morgan, Adelaide’s celebrity organ salesman, from his appearances on the music quiz show Spicks and Specks.
Barry’s trademark toothy grin and his prodigious skill on the keyboard were all he needed to win over television audiences. So, when it was announced that Barry Morgan would be coming to Fringe World, I was curious to see how he would flesh out his camp keyboard act into a one-hour show.
Barry Morgan’s World of Organs is a mildly strange experience from the moment you walk into the Perth Town Hall. Underneath the grand proscenium arch sits a 1981 Hammond Aurora Classic with matching Leslie speakers, looking very small indeed in contrast with the pomp of the venue. A badly recorded voice comes over the speakers, announcing the star of the show. Then out walks Mr Barry Morgan himself, all smiles and big hair.
The organ salesman immediately launches into his hilariously camp patter, announcing “this organ must be sold tonight!” The rest of the show is an extended sales pitch, with Barry avidly trying to convince audience members of the wonders of the electric organ.
Barry works the crowd with delightful ease, throwing out organ innuendos that never seem to get old. On this night, the audience seemed at first uncertain, but quickly got into the spirit of things with sing-alongs and shout-outs.
Although Barry’s talent on the organ is the central spectacle, the show has a great audio-visual element. A screen hangs over the stage onto which Barry projects photos from his childhood and footage from the stage.
Aside from a very strange moment when Barry abruptly disappears from the stage to “change into something more comfortable” and then returns wearing an almost-identical outfit, the show runs along smoothly.
Happily, this is a Fringe show that is suitable for all audiences. It’s a fun, light-hearted hour of comedy that will be especially pleasing for music-lovers.