Soho Theatre

JAZZ EMU: KNIGHT FEVER at the Soho Theatre


“Jazz Emu is somewhat of a lovable buffoon with a lack of self-awareness that’s endearing rather than infuriating”

It’s the night of the Royal Variety Performance and one of the performers is getting a knighthood (apparently that’s how the Royal Variety works?). Whilst Jazz Emu might be the favourite in some quarters, he is up against the indomitable Kelly Clarkson for the gong. So, Jazz Emu must prove, to the King and his countrymen, through the performance of the perfect song, that he is the one that should be honoured.

But selecting the tune that’s going to secure the title is not an easy decision. For that he needs a little help from his biggest fans, in the basement cloakroom of the Royal Albert Hall.

It is highly probable that the audience at a Jazz Emu gig these days really are a bunch of devoted fans. Since his breakout 2019 run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Jazz Emu (aka Archie Henderson), has both received accolades from the comedy establishment and hit the big time on Tiktok, with more than 250k followers and videos with over 3.5 million views.



It’s clear to see why. Henderson’s combination of surrealist observation, multi-instrumentalism (Electronic Woodwind Instruments, Sax and guitar?!), and commitment to the bit, translate impeccably from small screen to stage. Jazz Emu is somewhat of a lovable buffoon with a lack of self-awareness that’s endearing rather than infuriating. His preoccupation with recognition endearingly reminiscent of David Beckham’s quest for an honour.

The live experience, and this show in particular, takes everything up a notch from previous performances. A live four-piece band of individually talented and accomplished musicians, clothed in blue sequin military jackets reminiscent of Sgt Pepper, play melodic jazz as the audience enter the cabaret style theatre. Sofia Grant on keys gets a moment to show off her smoky vocals, but despite protestations from Jazz Emu that he is a team player, we cannot forget this is his show.

As well as the band, we are also treated to highly produced video and audio content, with Henderson pulling in favours from a whole host of friends to support. A video cameo from fellow musical comedian Will Hislop makes an appearance, and credits cite video direction from Lucy Moss, writer/director of hit musical Six.

If you are looking to sing along to your viral favourites you will be in luck. There are full-out versions of some of his most catchy hits, like ‘My Brothe’, and plenty of nods to other more recent content. But even if you are new to Jazz Emu, or not a follower on social media, the jazz-funk beat of Still Waiting is such an ear worm you’ll be humming it into next week.

JAZZ EMU: KNIGHT FEVER at the Soho Theatre

Reviewed on 6th June 2024

by Amber Woodward

Photography by David Monteith-Hodge – Photographise





JAZZ EMU: KNIGHT FEVER will also be at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe





Previously reviewed at this venue:

BLIZZARD | ★★★★ | May 2024
BOYS ON THE VERGE OF TEARS | ★★★★ | April 2024
DON’T. MAKE. TEA. | ★★★★★ | March 2024
PUDDLES PITY PARTY | ★★ | March 2024
LUCY AND FRIENDS | ★★★★★ | February 2024
AMUSEMENTS | ★★★★ | February 2024
WISH YOU WEREN’T HERE | ★★★ | February 2024
REPARATIONS | ★★★ | February 2024
SELF-RAISING | ★★★★★ | February 2024



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