Posts with the label concerts
Showing posts with label concerts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concerts. Show all posts

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Wild About You the Musical in Concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane: A Musical Misfire


Wild About You the Musical in Concert
Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Wild About You: The Musical in Concert presents a mixed bag of highs and lows. On one hand, the cast undeniably pours their heart and soul into every note and step, igniting the stage with energy and harmony during ensemble numbers, providing genuine excitement and joy for the audience. However, the love story it weaves isn't without its thorns. The music, while splendidly performed, lacks the emotional depth to truly resonate, resembling forgettable pop tunes rather than soul-stirring melodies. Similarly, the lyrics feel clichéd, failing to capture the complexity of human emotion, leaving much to be desired.

But perhaps the most glaring issue lies in the storytelling. The plot meanders like a lost tourist, introducing subplots only to abandon them moments later, resulting in a directionless narrative that fails to engage. The show feels like two separate shows, neither of which succeed in creating a cohesive story, leaving audiences more puzzled than swooning.

Despite the stellar cast, which includes luminaries like Rachel Tucker and Oliver Tompsett, the characters remain underdeveloped, with surface-level exploration hindering empathy. The ambitious score, while showcasing vocal prowess, suffers from disjointed pacing and inconsistency, detracting from the overall experience.

In the end, Wild About You falls short of its promise, leaving viewers longing for more substance amidst the spectacle. While it may have fared better as a play, the musical format exacerbates its shortcomings, ultimately delivering a tale of missed opportunities and half-hearted attempts at romance. For a concert production, with only a small amount of rehearsal, this was undeniably sleek and well put together but in my opinion, it would need a big overhaul to succeed as a full production.

★★

Reviewed on Tuesday 26th March by Olivia
Photo Credit: 

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Wild About You the Musical in Concert at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane: A Musical Misfire

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Saturday 9 March 2024

Reneé Rapp 'Snow Hard Feelings' Tour in London and Intimate Acoustic Show REVIEW


Reneé Rapp's Snow Hard Feelings Tour
Eventim Apollo, Camden Roundhouse and Banquet Records

Having followed Reneé Rapp since 2018 and attending her debut London show last year, I snapped up tickets for her London residency in an instant and waited with extreme levels of excitement to see her perform again. It's funny having watched someone for so long, you feel a strange sense of pride without even knowing them personally. Perhaps with Reneé it's even stronger because of her connection to us fans that makes her feel almost like a friend, even on the other side of the Atlantic. So, going into the weekend I knew it was going to be special, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

From her breakout role as Regina George in Mean Girls on Broadway and then the recent film adaptation, to her portrayal of Leighton in the charmingly relevant The Sex Lives of College Girls series, to her acclaimed debut album, Rapp has grown from strength to strength, gaining an adoring fanbase along the way, and always staying true to her values of honesty and integrity. Last year her first full length album was released to much critical acclaim (snubbed by the Grammy's, but we move) and this tour was a testament to her evolution as an artist, and a celebration of her impressive musical intuition and writing skills. I won't go into depth because we'd be here forever but for me it's a no skip album that perfectly blends elements of pop, rock, and theatre to create a spellbinding journey. Lyrically it hits hard and musically it offers variety and so much melodic interest whilst still retaining a very Reneé feel.

Watching last year's concert, with music from Rapp's EP 'Everything to Everyone' it was hard to imagine it could get better but with time, it seems Renee has grown in confidence and truly proves to be born for the stage. Two of the shows I saw (Hammersmith Apollo and Camden Roundhouse) were part of the Snow Hard Feelings Tour, which included a mixture of songs from both releases. During these full production concerts, Rapp commanded attention with her dynamic vocals and infectious energy, delivering unforgettable performances, supported by her brilliant band and excellent lighting and video design. 

But it was Rapp's acoustic performance at Banquet Records that truly showcased her vocal prowess and artistry. Stripped of elaborate production, Rapp delivered soul-stirring renditions of her songs, allowing her powerhouse vocals to take centre stage. With each note, she demonstrated remarkable control and nuance, effortlessly navigating through intricate melodies and emotive lyrics. Her performance was a masterclass in vocal performance, with faultless transitions between delicate falsetto and powerful belting.


I've always been in awe of Reneé's vocal technique, from her rounded vowels, to her impeccable breath control, phrasing and healthy belt, so getting a chance to witness it close up felt really special. Vocally she shone in all three shows, but there's really something magical about an acoustic show, with only a few hundred people all living in the moment and experiencing someone's innate talent. This show's version of 'Snow Angel' will go down as one of my favourite live vocals I've ever heard. 

Throughout the shows, Rapp's authenticity and vulnerability were palpable. Whether sharing personal stories or engaging in playful banter with the crowd, she created an intimate connection that made everyone feel like old friends. Despite the occasional interruptions caused by fainting fans, Rapp handled each moment with grace and humour, turning potential disruptions into endearing anecdotes. Plus, her ability to convey emotion through her vocals and infuse each lyric with depth and sincerity, creates an intimate connection with her audience. Part comedy show, part concert, you're sure to be laughing out loud and probably crying during a Reneé Rapp concert.

Music is such a community former, and these shows were testament to that. From standing in the queues to waiting in the venue for the concert to start, I got chatting to so many people and felt like I was in a room of likeminded people who just wanted to have a good time. The ethos of acceptance and friendship which Reneé fosters, trickles down to her fans, allowing the creation of a brilliantly welcoming environment. There are also a number of excellent audience chants which when screamed out, really unite the crowd, and I must say, as a Brit I feel like we really excel at these, thanks to our years of assemblies and pantomimes. The signs held up by fans added to the sense of community, but unfortunately there were many which veered into objectification. Sign culture and boundaries is a whole topic of it's own but Reneé navigated these situations with poise, reminding fans of the importance of respect; let's just hope people chill out for her next performances.


The support acts, Towa Bird and Sekou, brought their own energy to the stage, setting the perfect tone for Rapp's captivating performances. Towa Bird, with their soulful melodies and infectious energy, warmed up the crowd with their genre-bending sound, seamlessly blending elements of indie-pop and R&B. Their dynamic performance left a lasting impression, showcasing their undeniable charisma and artistry. Meanwhile, Sekou captivated audiences with his powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics, delivering an electrifying performance. At only 19 years old, he's sure to go from strength to strength and I can't wait to see him flourish in the music industry.

As the final notes of 'Snow Angel' echoed through the venues and confetti rained down, it was clear that Rapp's London shows had left an indelible mark on all who were lucky enough to witness them. With her unparalleled talent, genuine connection to her fans, and unwavering authenticity, Reneé Rapp has proven once again why she is a force to be reckoned with. And as London basks in the afterglow of her triumphant performances, one thing is certain: the star of Reneé Rapp is only just beginning to rise. Bring on the Reneésance.

★★★★★
Reviewed on 1st, 2nd, 3rd March by Olivia Mitchell
Photo Credit: Olivia Mitchell

Reneé Rapp 'Snow Hard Feelings' Tour in London and Intimate Acoustic Show REVIEW

Saturday 9 March 2024

Saturday 17 February 2024

The Addams Family Concert at the London Palladium REVIEW | A Kooky Show with a Killer Cast


The Addams Family in Concert
London Palladium 

Since premiering in the UK in 2017, The Addams Family has been somewhat of a regular feature on our theatre scene with a number of tours that garnered great reviews and a fanbase who couldn't help but be charmed by the kooky family. This week, the London Palladium housed the latest iteration with three concert versions of the show that told the wacky, romantic tale so many have grown to adore.

Witnessing their daughter Wednesday fall in love with a "normal" boy, the Addams family finds themselves grappling with the challenge of acceptance. In an effort to bridge the gap, Wednesday takes it upon herself to arrange a dinner party, inviting both families to come together. What unfolds is a delightful blend of hidden secrets, eccentricity, and a whirlwind of kooky chaos, showcasing the unique charm and humour of the Addams family universe.

As is the case with many "concert" versions, this was really an almost fully staged production, complete with costumes, sets,  choreography and more. These sort of shows are always a real testament to the hard work of the entire team both onstage and backstage, to put together such sleek, well-rounded performances, with extremely limited rehearsal time.

This was a wonderfully sleek production, framed by Ben Cracknell's fantastically striking lighting and Diego Pitarch's suitably outlandish set and colour matched costumes. Taking most of the elements from the touring production, the whole concert embodied the vibes of the unconventional Addams family, highlighting the important parts of the storyline and making the whole thing feel much more elevated than a traditional concert. Having not had a permanent home, the show has had to create a design that fits within the confines of moving around the country every week so I do think if it were to find a permanent home in the West End, it could really lean into the lavish grandeur of the Addams Family, and perhaps bring Central Park to life a bit more, to really step things up and give it the wow factor.

In terms of casting this was a star studded affair. Ramin Karimloo took on the role of Gomez Addams, the suave protective father who just wants to do right by his family; giving a performance that was nothing short of wonderful. With hilarious line delivery and of course those smooth, powerful vocals we all know and love, Ramin showcased a hilarious side that I'd love to see more of. We must also mention the collective audience gasp when he took his blazer off, if you know, you know! As his partner in crime, Michelle Visage made Morticia Addams her own. Whilst her performance wasn't always the most exciting, with the dialogue being a little one note (even for Morticia), her look and the way she carried herself was perfect for the role. Just Around the Corner was a really brilliant theatrical moment and I think given time, Michelle could really develop and refine her Morticia. 

As the love struck teens, Wednesday and Lucas, Chumisa Dornford-May and Ryan Kopel were wonderfully paired. Having only recently graduated Chumisa already has an impressive resume and it's certainly set to expand, given her absolutely out of this world vocals. She not only hit every note perfectly but her tone and diction were noticeably brilliant and everything sounded so healthy, I can't wait to see her succeed and shine! The role of Lucas isn't particularly developed but Ryan did a wonderful job of bringing him to life and created some lovely moments. Another stand out was Kara Lane who astounded as mother Alice Beineke, giving vocals that pretty much blew the roof off of the London Palladium. Sam Buttery was charming as Uncle Fester, Nicholas McLean a great addition as Pugsley and Dickon Gough a wonderful dose of comedy. The rest of the ensemble brought the other characters and ancestors to life really well and helped form the world of Addams.

Book wise I do think this is a show with flaws and the pacing isn't always perfect but it has heart, charm and a number of earworms that make it a really easy watch that you go back to again and again. 

It's not the most sophisticated piece of theatre but, The Addams Family in Concert was a ghoulishly delightful experience. With outstanding performances, this concert truly captured the essence of the Addams Family legacy. Whether you were a die-hard fan or new to the Addams universe, this concert provided a spooky, kooky night of fun and paved the way for the show to continue enrapturing audiences.

★★★
Reviewed on Tuesday 13th February by Olivia
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

The Addams Family Concert at the London Palladium REVIEW | A Kooky Show with a Killer Cast

Saturday 17 February 2024

Monday 12 February 2024

Initial Casting Announced for Spring Awakening Reunion Concert


Producers Jack Maple and Evelyn Hoskins are thrilled to unveil the initial cast for the 15th Anniversary concert of the groundbreaking West End production of Spring Awakening, the acclaimed musical by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, based on Frank Wedekind’s iconic play.

This special event, marking the 15th year since the original London production, will reunite many of the beloved original cast members for a one-night-only celebration on Sunday, June 2, 2024, at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Tickets are available for purchase now.

Returning to the stage from the original West End production are Lucy May Barker as Ilse, Natasha Barnes as Anna, Harry McEntire as Ernst, Hayley Gallivan as Martha, Evelyn Hoskins as Thea, Edward Judge as Otto, Jamie Muscato as Melchior, Jos Slovick as Georg, and Charlotte Wakefield as Wendla. Additionally, Chris Barton, Natalie Garner, Mona Goodwin, Gemma O’Duffy, and Richard Southgate will reprise their roles.

The original London band, including Huw Davies, Don Richardson, Matthew Senior, Vicky Matthews, Charlie Brown, and Rachel Robson under the musical direction of Nigel Lilley, will accompany the cast.

Spring Awakening chronicles the tale of adolescent rebellion against societal constraints, set to a captivating score that has enthralled audiences worldwide.

Originally premiering on Broadway in 2006 and subsequently transferring to London in 2009, Spring Awakening has garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, including Tony and Olivier accolades.

Duncan Sheik expressed his excitement about the anniversary concert, reminiscing about the joyous memories of the original London production. Steven Sater shared his gratitude for the opportunity to bring back the beloved show for this special occasion.

In addition to celebrating the musical's legacy, this concert will serve as a fundraiser for Imogen Kinchin, a pivotal figure in the original production, who is battling Stage IV Bowel Cancer. The company of Spring Awakening has generously decided to donate the proceeds from the concert to Imogen's Fund.

Directed by Jamie Armitage and featuring musical direction by Nigel Lilley, Spring Awakening promises to be a poignant and unforgettable event, honouring both the musical's impact and the resilience of its community.

Initial Casting Announced for Spring Awakening Reunion Concert

Monday 12 February 2024

Saturday 18 November 2023

Jamie Muscato to Perform Solo Concert at Cadogan Hall


Fourth Wall Live, in collaboration with Westway Music, is thrilled to present West End sensation Jamie Muscato live at Cadogan Hall on Saturday, July 21, 2024, at 6:30 pm. Tickets for this exclusive event go on sale starting Monday, November 20, at www.fw-live.com and www.cadoganhall.com.

Renowned for his outstanding contributions to musical theatre, Jamie Muscato, known for his roles in Moulin Rouge and Heathers, will showcase a new solo concert at Cadogan Hall in 2024. Muscato has an impressive repertoire, including performances in Les Misérables, Once In Concert, and Sweeney Todd.

Jamie Muscato's versatile talent extends to TV and film, with notable credits such as Chemistry of Death, Darkness Rising, and The Trial of Christine Keeler.

Fourth Wall Live, recognised for its successful productions like Bonnie and Clyde The Musical In Concert, consistently brings top-tier entertainment to audiences. Their recent shows have featured Broadway favourites like Jeremy Jordan and Audra McDonald, emphasising their commitment to showcasing stars from both the West End and Broadway. Additionally, Fourth Wall Live proudly produced the What’sOnStage Award-winning Bonnie & Clyde The Musical, concluding a successful run at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End.

Jamie Muscato to Perform Solo Concert at Cadogan Hall

Saturday 18 November 2023

Friday 17 November 2023

Sammy Rae and the Friends at the Hammersmith Apollo Review: A Theatrical, Musical Masterclass


Sammy Rae and the Friends
Hammersmith Apollo 

Sammy Rae and the Friends took over the Eventim Apollo last night for the London stop on their Camp Tour and what a glorious night it was. Under the magnetic leadership of vocalist and songwriter Samantha Rae Bowers, the Brooklyn-based septet dazzled the audience with impeccable vocals, riffs and infectious enthusiasm. Their unique blend of jazz, funk and folk with a dash of theatre kid for good measure created an electrically warm atmosphere and made the venue feel like it was hosting one big party.

From the get go it's Sammy's utterly magnetic presence which draws you in. Her infectious energy creates an almost instantaneous connection with the audience that continues throughout and provides the ingredients for a really special night. Whether belting out stellar vocals (that sound just as good if not better than on the albums), laying on the stage or bantering with the audience, Sammy Rae proves to be an outstandingly charismatic band leader, who knows how to command a stage.

The Friends, the ridiculously talented ensemble of musicians who accompany the show are as good as it gets. They each get moments to shine and showcase their musical skills which are universally outstanding, and alongside that they get to show their chemistry with one another. The whole group seem to be having the time of their lives on stage, creating a bubbling vibe which reaches into the audience and pulls us into the fold. Positivity is the heartbeat of this group and it's joyous to behold.

The setlist provided a great mix of familiar favourites including Talk it Up and Jackie Onassis as well as some sneak peeks at tracks from their upcoming album. Particularly moving was the soon to be released David, which focusses on men's mental health and is incredibly beautiful and poignant. There were also a couple of covers, with Abba's Lay All Your Love on Me proving a real audience favourite. Throughout, Sammy Rae and Friends effortlessly transitioned between vocal styles and genres, going from calmer more soulful pieces to the exuberant high-octane numbers. The diverse repertoire continually showcased the band's musical aptitude and versatility.

Alongside expert musicianship, the evening was truly a celebration of community, as fostered by the group and the infectious, frivolous atmosphere they crafted. Whilst the songs explore a lot of serious themes, the group maintain a carefree persona and invite the audience to enjoy the moment and celebrate the good things life has to offer.

The Camp tour isn't anchored around a specific album so the evening was a great chance to revel in the signature hits, whilst becoming excited for what's next in the Sammy Rae discography. The combination of Sammy Rae's magnetic stage presence, the exceptional talent of the Friends, a thoughtfully curated setlist and a welcoming crowd, affirmed the group as a formidable force in the music industry and made a promise that we'll be seeing and hearing much more of them. They certainly earned their badges for riffing, raving and raising the roof!

★★★★
Reviewed on Thursday 16th November 2023 by Olivia
Photo Credit: Mia Isabella Photography

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Sammy Rae and the Friends at the Hammersmith Apollo Review: A Theatrical, Musical Masterclass

Friday 17 November 2023

Thursday 16 November 2023

SuperYou! the Musical in Concert at the Lyric Theatre Review: Potential to be Otherworldly


SuperYou! the Musical in Concert
Lyric Theatre 

Having made its UK debut performance at MusicalCon in October 2022, where it was an audience hit, SuperYou went on to do two days of workshop performances in London last year and last night had its West End premiere concert performance. With music, lyrics and book by Lourds Lane, the show tells the story of Katie White, a comic book author whose superheroines aid her in navigating through grief, discovering self-love, and embracing the strength of her own voice.

After being lucky enough to catch one of the workshop performances, I was incredibly excited to follow the development of this show and see how it grows and evolves over its various iterations. Whilst this concert version didn't quite live up to the expectations I'd built up in my head, it did have a number of stand out moments and showcased the potential of this beautifully heartfelt musical, and hopefully paved the way for future outings.

What I love about this show is how much passion and care has clearly gone into telling the tale of embracing your differences and being true to yourself. The energy is next level throughout and the performances are so earnest you can't help be charmed by it all.

Musically there's an array of styles, from rock songs to country ballads, all of which are performed with vigour and power, just as you'd expect in a show about superheroes. Leading the gang, SuperLu-cie Jones once again soars, delivering larynx lifting vocals with ease, sincerity and heart. Her shining voice matched with greatly witty and endearing characterisations once again cement her as a star of musical theatre. As her brother and fellow comic enthusiast, Matty, Jonty Peach gives a wonderful performance, I only wish we got more chance to see and hear him. His chemistry with young Katie (gloriously played by Aaliyah Monk) is really lovely and the pair create a convincing back story to root the show.

Completing the hero squad are Joni Ayton-Kent as Seven, Sharon Ballard as Blast, Lourds Lane as Rise and Jenny O'Leary as Ima-Mazing, who all give strong, well characterised performances. The roles themselves are quite stereotyped and not hugely well-rounded but they're performed well and bring some killer vocals. Luke Brady as Jay is really engaging and gets to really soar vocally in act two.

Choreography is a big part of this show, with Maddy Brennan (Mom) and Will Bozier (MiRoar) communicating almost solely through JoAnn M. Hunter's choreographed dance/movement, to great effect. The concert setting doesn't quite allow the movement to soar as it would in a full production but it's certainly a great way to tell the story and is quite striking at times. I do feel that it sometimes covers for a lack of character development, especially with the Mom who is pretty one dimensional but there's a lot of promise and a number of ways for the movement to elevate the storytelling. 

There were also a few balancing issues, with the vocals sometimes being overpowered by music, so crucial lyrics were lost. Also, the setup of music stands across the stage meant the audience were physically disconnected from the action. Moments when it really shone were when these were stepped in front of, such as the closing of act one. Of course, this is a show put on with a week of rehearsal so a lot of issues can be forgiven but it would be great to see and hear the musical in it's full, fine-tuned glory.

Whilst the musical owes a lot to social media, having achieved huge popularity on tiktok during lockdown, something about the social media portrayal in the show doesn't quite work. Compared to the workshop showing, this version regularly mentions virality and tiktok, and whilst this does push the story along, it also feels somewhat cringey and awkward. It does provide opportunity for a discussion on the impact of social media but that doesn't feel necessary in a show like this which already has so many other messages to put across, so instead it just comes across as an underdeveloped layer. Perhaps it's an attempt to appeal to younger audiences but the show has so much to offer in terms of heart, and performances, it really doesn't need anything else to be appealing to a wide range of theatre patrons. 

In transitioning the show to be more "mainstream" and 2023 relevant, it has lost a lot of the charm and sincerity which was so abundant before. The changed plot also means the character development is diminished. Previously, Katie had a clear journey from an unconfident girl, brought down by various traumas, to eventually finding herself and making her own choices; however this time, her journey feels less well rounded and the actual big moment of discovery sort of comes from nowhere. 

Despite its flaws, SuperYou is a genuinely good show that deserves a future life. The potential is overflowing and I hope it gets a chance to develop further. SuperYou is a life affirming show with some wonderful messages, performances, energy and music and with some tweaks to supercharge it, the show could be a really glorious addition to the theatre scene. 

★★★ 
Reviewed on Wednesday 15th November by Olivia
Photo Credit: Matt Marlin and Simona Sermont for Shooting Theatre

 {AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

SuperYou! the Musical in Concert at the Lyric Theatre Review: Potential to be Otherworldly

Thursday 16 November 2023

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Bat Boy the Musical at the London Palladium Review: A Campy Delight


Bat Boy the Musical in Concert
London Palladium

I had the pleasure of spending Halloween at Bat Boy the Musical in concert at the iconic London Palladium, and it was truly a wild, wacky, and wonderful show. The talented cast, which included Jordan Luke Gage, Jodie Steele, and Trevor Dion Nicholas, delivered an electrifying performance that left the audience thoroughly entertained.

The campy nature of the production was evident from the get-go, and it added to the overall charm of the show. The exaggerated characters, over-the-top antics, and quirky humour all contributed to a delightfully eccentric atmosphere that had the audience in stitches. Victoria Hamilton-Barritt in particular is a complete comedic superstar, perfectly bouncing off the crowd and having everyone in stitches from the smallest movement or expression.

However, it wasn't all smooth sailing. There were some noticeable sound issues throughout the performance. Missed lines and an uneven balance between the orchestra and vocals meant that, at times, it was challenging to hear the lyrics properly. While these technical hiccups did momentarily detract from the overall experience, they were overshadowed by the sheer fun of the show.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Laurence O'Keefe's Bat Boy the Musical is a quirky tale about a half-human, half-bat creature who is discovered in a cave and taken in by a family in a small town. The musical explores themes of acceptance, prejudice, and the complexities of human nature, all while delivering it with a humorous and satirical touch.

Despite the sound issues, the show's humor and the cast's stellar performances shone through. The witty one-liners and comedic timing of the actors had the audience roaring with laughter, making it easy to forgive the occasional technical glitch.

Jordan Luke Gage gave an endearing performance as the title Bat Boy, showcasing stupendous vocals as well as really well done and hilarious characterisation; continually rising to new heights, I cannot wait to see what he takes on next. Jodie Steele's portrayal of the struggling sister balanced superbly with Gage's and had some solid development and growth throughout. Completing the family pack, Trevor Dion Nicholas gave a vocal powerhouse performance and made the morally wild father a stand out performance. Tosh Wanogho-Maud was a complete powerhouse, giving some of the best vocals of the night, despite not having a hugely developed character. The entirety of the supporting cast and choir also did an excellent job of bringing the Bat Boy world to life.

One aspect that truly stood out was the effective and simple staging. The use of minimal sets and props allowed the audience to focus on the characters and the story. It was remarkable how such a straightforward approach could be so striking and immersive. This also allowed Rhys Wilkinson's well thought out and adapted movement to really shine and add a finessed element to this one night only performance.

Bat Boy the Musical was a wild, blood filled, hoot of a musical, with a fantastic cast and an abundance of humour. While the sound issues were a minor drawback, the overall experience was thoroughly enjoyable, leaving the audience with smiles on their faces. A hilarious and campy musical done so well!

★★★★
Reviewed on Tuesday 31st October
{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Bat Boy the Musical at the London Palladium Review: A Campy Delight

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Wednesday 18 October 2023

The Barricade Boys West End Party at the Adelphi Theatre Review: Everything Great About Musical Theatre


The Barricade Boys West End Party
Adelphi Theatre
★★★★★

After extensive touring, The Barricade Boys were back in the West End last night for a heaping dose of feel-good fun. The brainchild of Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield, the Les Misérables-alumni-super-group (completed by Craig Mather and Kieran Brown) performed a maelstrom of musical theatre numbers, alongside pop, rock and swing numbers. With effortless rapport and smooth moves, it's clear to see why the group have gained such a strong fanbase who turned out in full force to the Adelphi Theatre. 

What truly sets The Barricade Boys apart is more than just their extraordinary vocal talents and impeccable harmonies. It's the genuine friendship and affection they share, and the fact that they truly seem to be having a ball on stage. Amidst their impressive musical performances and polished dance routines, they weave in personal stories and charming anecdotes from their experiences in various shows; effortlessly connecting with the audience and creating an atmosphere that feels wonderfully welcoming.

Their repertoire spans a wide range of emotions, from the heartfelt intensity of Les Misérables to the joyful doo-wop harmonies of Jersey Boys. Through this musical journey, they showcase melodies from some of the world's greatest musicians, including The Beatles, Bon Jovi, and Queen, all interpreted in a specifically Barricade Boys way. It's a show that will lift your spirits and induce pure joy and serotonin.

There's a certain charm that makes the whole thing feel superbly carefree and entertaining, and whilst there is an element of cheesiness that comes with this sort of show, the group do a spectacular job of keeping everything high quality and entertaining for all, whether they're the target audience or not.

It must be said that at some points the sound balance was a little off, with the backing slightly overpowering the singers but as a whole it was a spectacular sounding evening and the team must be applauded for balancing a show with so many moving vocals, especially for a one night only performance at this venue. It must also be said how outstanding the Barricade Band are, perfectly matching the energy of the boys as well as having a ball themselves. 

All of this plus the special guests Courtney Bowman, Fra Fee and Matt Henry, really made it an evening of musical theatre magic.

In a time when so much hatred and pain is prevalent in the world, it's such a privilege and honour to be able to escape to the comfort of the theatre, and this show is a glorious illustration and celebration of the joy and unity the art form can provide. 

Reviewed on Tuesday 17th October 2023 by Olivia Mitchell
Photo Credit: Danny Kaan

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

The Barricade Boys West End Party at the Adelphi Theatre Review: Everything Great About Musical Theatre

Wednesday 18 October 2023