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Showing posts with label cleve september. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cleve september. Show all posts
Sunday, 18 June 2017

West End Live Lounge: Icons and Legends, Union Theatre | Review

West End Live Lounge: Icons and Legends, Union Theatre | Review
Sunday, 18 June 2017
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West End Live Lounge
Union Theatre
Reviewed Sunday 11th June 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★

When I went to the first West End Live Lounge back in March, I didn't think it could get any better. I was wrong! Every single performance was absolutely outstanding and I was in awe of each and every performer, it was honestly one of the best concerts I've ever seen, full of so much incredible talent and just a wonderful night for a wonderful cause.

I could honestly talk in depth about every single performer because they all deserve a huge amount of praise but I fear that it could be the longest review in the history of reviews so I won't talk about everyone in depth but I will talk quite a lot so you might want to settle down and grab a cuppa!

The concert opened with a lovely performance of the Amy Winehouse classic "Valerie"by Katie Paine, which started the night on an upbeat, joyous note. Leigh Lothian (who created the concert series along with Shaun McCourt) and George Jennings then took us through the history of James Bond with a glorious medley of the hit Bond songs. 

I have seen a lot of Sapphire Soul recently, both at the previous Live Lounge and as special guests and the Dreamgirls Unplugged concert and am a massive fan of their unique arrangements and brilliant voices and was very glad that they were a part of this concert. The glamourous girls sung a delightful version of "Over The Rainbow" and closed the show with a joyous Aretha Franklin medley which left everyone on a high. Ashford Campbell sung one of my favourite songs "Human Nature" and made me love it and his voice even more! 

Now if Brady Isaacs Pearce doesn't become a West End star, I will personally knock on Cameron Mackintosh's door and demand he puts her in a show. At only 17 years old, her voice is insanely good and her overall stage presence is of someone vastly experienced. Brady sung a mash up of songs by the queen of stage Barbra Streisand and filled her huge shoes perfectly, giving the audience chills.

Cleve September has such a likeable personality which came across when he stepped on stage and explained he had only decided what to perform on the morning of the concert; going out and purchasing a loop pedal and kind of winging his way through. However, if we hadn't known this, we wouldn't have noticed. Cleve's performance of "Feeling Good" was unique and so fun to watch and he certainly seemed like an experienced loop pedlar (??) to me!

The first act flew by with stellar performance after stellar performance. Hannah Ducharme superbly performed "Hallelujah", Alexis Gerred absolutely owned "Come Together" and Sejal Kashwala gave an astonishing performance of "How Comes You Don't Call Me" which had me in awe of her voice. To end the first act, Kelly Agbowu sung the hell out of "The Show Must Go On" and completely blew the roof off the intimate venue which her effortless and faultless performance.

Act two included a few duets where the performers got to have fun signing with one another. Andrew Bateup and Marcus Ayton sung the Stevie Wonder favourite, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", Matthew Seadon-Young and Leigh Lothian performed "Careless Whisper" and Carolyn Maitland and Lauren Ingram sung a Billie Jean mash up. All three duets were fantastic and it's just a joy to get double the talent per song!

Perhaps my favourite part of the night was when two Whitney Houston classics were performed back to back with Ruth Brown singing "I Will Always Love You" and Emma Lindars singing "I Have Nothing". Both performances were completely awe-inspiring and just breathtaking. The talent of these ladies is just unbelievable and it's crazy that they're not international stars!

Oliver Savile channel his inner Frank Sinatra with "Let's Face The Music" and I'm sure made many of the ladies in the room swoon with his suave performance. Laura Mansell's Celine Dion mash up was so sensational and it was glorious to hear my favourite Celine song "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" performed so well.

Liam Doyle gave an upbeat rendition of "I'm Still Standing" before Natalie Green gave the penultimate performance of the night with Prince's "Purple Rain". I'm a massive fan of Natalie's voice and adored her performance so much, as it seemed did the entire audience. 

Although an absolutely fantastic night of entertainment showing off some of the best the West End has to offer, the main reason for the concerts series is to raise money and awareness for charity. This concert was raising money for Mind which supports people suffering from mental health issues, a cause close to so many of our hearts and it's great to see so many people coming together for such a great cause.

If you couldn't tell from that very long review, I completely loved West End Live Lounge and know I will love all the future concerts. If you can get along to the next one then please do because you will definitely enjoy it. What's better that West End stars blessing your ears on a Sunday evening?!

Check out West End Live Lounge on Twitter for details of future concerts: https://twitter.com/WElivelounge17
Monday, 6 February 2017

In Conversation With... Cleve September | Interview

In Conversation With... Cleve September | Interview
Monday, 6 February 2017
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Cleve September is a rising star of the West End. He recently starred in Annie Get Your Gun and In The Heights to much acclaim and has just been cast as Laurens/Philip in the upcoming West End production of Hamilton so it safe to say he's destined for stardom! 


Was being a performer what you always dreamt of or did you have a different career path in mind when you were younger?

I've been singing since I can remember but only started dancing about 6, nearly 7 years ago. Before that I was really into my sports.. I played a lot of basketball and rugby. And I also love 100m and 200m sprints. So I was quite athletic because I got into musical theatre. And the dream back then was to be in the Olympics.


You just finished playing Sonny in In The Heights to much acclaim. It just seems like the funnest show and cast to be a part of. Can you sum up that experience?

Really there are no words to describe how incredible the experience was! In The Heights will always have a place in my heart, as will the cast! They were all such incredible human beings! And they really made my first professional job so amazing.


Did you feel any extra pressure joining so many original Southwark Playhouse cast members when you joined the show at the Kings Cross Theatre? How did you put your own spin on the role?

Not at all because everyone was so welcoming and everyone was so supportive! And I wasn't expected to do the things that Damian can do or did in the show so I could do a bit of creating and figuring out how my body wanted to move in terms of the dance routines. And we just found new things.


You definitely became a fan favourite at Heights; did you expect to gain so many fans in your first role after training?

I didn't know that I was a fan favourite... I had no idea what to expect but I am so thankful for the fans because their love and constant support was amazing throughout the run.


The Kings Cross theatre is super intimate. Are you excited to perform in the Crucible and other larger venues in the future? Do you prefer more intimate or bigger venues?

I'm yet to experience a bigger venue... so I'll let you know!


Annie Get Your Gun is such a Classic musical. Did it get a modern twist in your recent production or did it stick to its original roots?

Nope there was no modern twist to it, we very much stuck to the roots and played it truthfully! The choreography was stunning and it was such an honour and a pleasure working for the team of creatives behind that show!


Can you explain a little about Annie Get Your Gun and how your character Tommy fits into it?

AGYG is about a woman called Annie who is an incredible shooter. She falls in love with a 'swollen headed stiff' named Frank Butler and their story of how they fell in love through the circumstances that they were put through. My character had his own little love story going on with a character called Winnie Tate, who's older sister Dolly, forbids them to be together.


What was your biggest challenge with taking on this role?

I had more than one big challenge haha. The style of Choreo and also singing in a legit style were the two biggest challenges for me as they were both very new to me. However once I managed to kinda wrap my head around it I had the most incredible time! 


If you had a magic wand, which show would you do next? 

Hamilton 👀👀


You have a five minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?

If there is food near my I'm eating, or trying to wrap my head around something that may have confused me or I might have done wrong..


You studied at Mountview, what was the best piece of advice your were told during your time there?

To be a sponge and soak everything up that works for me!


It's just been announced you're going to be playing Laurens/Philip in Hamilton; how did you find out you'd got the part, what was your reaction and who did you tell first?

I was out with the cast of Annie Get Your Gun for a drink to end the first week of rehearsals in Sheffield... so it was quite late, and I got a call from my agent. I answered and she asked me if I was alone and I said nope I'm out with the cast. She told me to go somewhere quiet. So I walked outside, she then told me to keep walking and find a place further away so that I was completely out of sight, so I did! And she told me that an offer had come through for John Laurens/Philip Hamilton. And I froze. I completely dropped to the ground and started crying! I was shaking and just couldn't believe it. I was told that I was the first one to find out and that I had to keep it a secret. Only my agent knew at the time so she had had to wait for everyone in the office to go home before she could call me. I had to keep it a secret from everyone!


What are you most nervous about with taking on such a huge role? 

Right now I'm not too nervous about anything... I'm so incredibly excited that I don't really have any space in my mind for any other feelings.. it still doesn't feel real! I guess I could say that I'm almost nervous that I'm going to wake up one day and it was all a big dream. But I'm so thankful to be in the position I am in right now and I can't believe that I get to say to people now that I will be playing John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in the Original West End Cast of Hamilton! It's the most amazing feeling!

Thank you so much to Cleve for taking the time to answer these questions. Make sure you go see Cleve in Hamilton and any other shows he does- you'll love him!

Follow Cleve on twitter here

Monday, 23 May 2016

Hamilton Dream Cast

Hamilton Dream Cast
Monday, 23 May 2016
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My Hamilton obsession has been out in full force recently and the prospect of it coming to the West End in 2017 has got me ridiculously excited and kind of nervous. I'm praying that I'll get tickets and that I won't have to sell a body part to pay for them! 

So with all the Hamilton fever going around, I wanted to do my own dream cast for the show (I was inspired by this post.) Before I start I want to say that I basically want the whole of the In The Heights cast to become the Hamilton cast so there's going to be a lot of them in this....! 
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