From Johnny To Jack Review @ Brisbane Powerhouse

  • Written by 
  • Tuesday, 19 February 2019 16:55
Published in Arts News  

Luke Kennedy makes John Farnham’s songs his own and delights audiences.


The Little Red Company‘s production of 'From Johnny To Jack' is a wonderful trip down memory lane. The show unravels the public life of John Farnham, one of Australia's best-known performers with a career, mostly as a solo artist, spanning more than 30 years.

With generational power anthems such as 'You’re The Voice', John Farnham has a special place in all of our hearts, and a very mixed audience of younger and older fans had the theatre buzzing with anticipation. The rather intimidating two hour and twenty minute show (admittedly with an interval) opened with a compilation of Farnham melodies before Luke Kennedy ('The Voice', 'The Ten Tenors', 'Christmas Actually', 'Swing On This') took the stage to loud applause and whistles.  

The polished, gifted performer and band were joined by a special guest, Stefanie Caccamo, one of Luke’s cast members from 'Christmas Actually' whose rendition of 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' was a show highlight. Despite the fear-inducing running time, the evening absolutely flew by.

Luke deftly narrated, through song and incident, John Farnham’s early musical career, building the tale from 'Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)', a single released in 1967 when John was 18, through to his marriage in 1973.

Luke and his band had the audience singing and dancing in the aisles as the popular performer shared more of John Farnham’s musical career through anecdotes, humour and clever song choice. His sensitive revelation of the context of hits like 'You’re The Voice' and 'Playing To Win' seemed to counterbalance the joy with which he, and the audience, belted out the songs. It was a memorable Friday night’s entertainment at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

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