The Queen’s Cartoonists are six jazz musicians currently part of the New York City jazz scene (the eponymous Queen’s being the location over there, rather than the person over here). Their show aims to make jazz music more accessible by performing a live soundtrack (which sometimes involve folley too) to classic and contemporary animation, synchronized with the projected films.
With a seemingly extensive repertoire of music and shorts, their Fringe show feature prominently Classic Warner Bros cartoons, accompanied by some (probably less well known here) shorts from Russia and Korea. For their British audience they have also teamed up with Aardman Animation to include four of their pieces starring their three most famous characters, a no doubt canny move judging by the awed murmur which greeted the first mention of Shaun the Sheep.
Unsurprisingly there is nothing but the cheekiest mention of the House of the Mouse due to the purposefully prohibitive cost that would entail, which is a shame for Disney, considering this has some of the same goals and techniques as their own Fantasia (or rather Disney’s less well-known equivalents for more modern music, Melody Time and Make Mine Music).
Not that the show is lacking for this omission, with the mixture representing a lovely mix of the familiar and less so, and the shorts, along with the introductions by the bandleader, entertaining the adults and children alike. As an introduction to jazz for young people it’s a rollicking success, and judging from the many older in the audience, one that worked on its own terms for the adults as well.
A fun way to experience live music and some classic family entertainment, The Queen’s Cartoonists entertained and amused their audiences of all ages not only with their music but also their choice of cartoons.
The Queen’s Cartoonists plays until August 28th (not Mondays or Tuesdays) at Assembly Roxy and tickets can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/queen-s-cartoonists
Reviewer: Oliver Giggins
Reviewed: 7th August 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★