Posts with the label louise dearman
Showing posts with label louise dearman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label louise dearman. Show all posts

Friday, 2 July 2021

Wonderful Town, Opera Holland Park | Review


Wonderful Town
Opera Holland Park 
Reviewed on Thursday 1st July 2021 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

As the world returns to a new normal, there aren't many better ways to spend a Thursday evening than enjoying a glorious musical in the beautiful setting of Opera Holland Park. Quick Fantastic have returned to the space to present Wonderful Town, the half-forgotten 30s  musical which brims with exhilarating jazz and witty comedy.

Under Alex Parker's musical direction, Bernstein's score soars around the auditorium and reminds us just how brilliant the older Broadway musicals can be. The comedy on stage is matched perfectly with the music and the whole affair feels as rich and jubilant as can be. The musical  diversity is also a treat to hearr, with an Irish jig, a beatnik scat and some moving ballads, there's really something for everyone.

The book by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields is basically the story who two sisters from Ohio who arrive in the New York with dreams of taking the town by storm. The source material for the show was taken from autobiographical short stories by Ruth, the sister who longed for a writing career and chronicled her and her sisters' lives in The New Yorker. There are a number of little adventures the duo go on whilst finding their careers (and romances) which make for a highly entertaining and all round wholesome story.

Ruth is played with grit and wit by West End superstar, Louise Dearman, who seems almost made for the role of the sassy, vulnerable, bookish author. Of course Louise is vocally effortless and provides some real highlights, but she also shines in the humourous moments which help make the whole production feel so jubilant.



Balancing Dearman out is the equally brilliant Siubhan Harrison as Eileen, the sister who knows how to get what she wants but in the end is unwaveringly committed to her sister. The double act are a dream to watch and have the audience wrapped around their little fingers, especially during their smooth as butter rendition of Ohio.

The male love interests are performed by Ako Mitchell who is vocally divine and very authentic as magazine editor Bob; Roger Dipper who is utterly wonderful and so humourous as the bumbling Walgreens worker Frank Lippencott; and Alex Lodge who is suitably sleazy as newspaper hack Chick Clark.

Billy Nevers is the washed up football player The Wreck, and Emma Harrold is his secret fiancé, Helen. Both do a great job of padding out their characters as well as providing super strong vocals and some light-hearted comedic moments.

The rest of the cast made up of: Jade Albertsen, Robson Broad, Ashley Daniels, Tamsin Dowsett, Gregory Haney, Jas[er Kajd and Natasha Leaver are super sleek throughout whilst bringing the vibes of 30s New York to life. Carrie-Anne Ingrouille's choreography is superb and a joy to watch.

From a conga to an incarceration there's a lot to enjoy and laugh at, and the cast do an outstanding job of making a semi-staged production feel full. Overall it's a wonderful night at Wonderful Town.

Photos by Danny Kaan

Wonderful Town, Opera Holland Park | Review

Friday, 2 July 2021

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

West End Live Lounge: Woman, The Other Palace | Review


West End Live Lounge (Concert)
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Friday 20th October 2017 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★½

This is the second Woman themed West End Live Lounge, but this time, the team have graduated from The Other Palace Studio, to the main space as they become bigger and better. Featuring songs from some of the most influential women in music and raising money for Samaritans, West End Live Lounge is really about the heart and soul of everyone involved.

Host for the evening was Samuel J Holmes who wittily engaged the audience and provided innuendo after innuendo and a number of anecdotes about his new home in Southend. The atmosphere remained lighthearted throughout but we were all reminded of the crucial reason for the concert. As always, the proceeds from West End Live Lounge go to charity, this time we were raising funds for Samaritans who do crucial work helping those in dark mental places. The Samaritans answer a call for help every six seconds which is truly incredible and its imperative that we help where we can. Especially in an industry where mental health is often battered, it feels very special and close to everyone's hearts that we can support the charity in this way.

Whilst the evening did flow very well, it would have been nice to hear each performer introduce themselves and their songs a little as at times they felt a little removed from the audience. Perhaps this was due to nerves but I felt that some ice breaking could have helped.

To raise funds and of course provide entertainment, founder of West End Live Lounge, Shaun McCourt pulled together some of the best West End performers to sing their hearts (and larynx's) out.  Highlights were aplenty so I'll just name a few... First up, Jennifer Tierney's performance of All By Myself  which was note perfect and superbly performed. With her hauntingly beautiful rendition of With Woman in the Moon, Brady Isaacs Pearce brought calm to the venue, whilst Shekinah McFarlance showed off her extreme vocal prowess with Lose To Win. 


Blowing the roof off at the end of act two, Emma Lindars put her own spin on the Jessie J classic, Mama Knows Best and wowed the entire audience a second time with Stone Cold by Demi Lovato. Live Lounge regulars Divalution provided their signature riffs, belt and sass with All I Ask and Power, and Matthew Harvey put a new spin on Britney Spear's, Circus, complete with multi-coloured lighting.

Other stand outs included Kayleigh McKnight's rendition of Chandelier, Louise Dearman's take on the Celine classic, Taking Chances. And, after an understated start, Simon Gordon's performance of Shallow was utterly breathtaking and completely memorable. The 10 piece band led my MD Sam Coates did an outstanding job of backing up the performers as well as having their own chances to shine. The full band bring a real warmth to these concerts and its fantastic to, not only hear them playing brilliantly, but also see them looking like they're having a great time.

West End Live Lounge continues to provide a highly entertaining Sunday out, full of treats a surprises. There is always guaranteed to be something for everyone and you should definitely pop along, not only to hear fabulous singing, but also to support highly deserving charities.

photo credit: Nick Brittain (Brittain Photography)

West End Live Lounge: Woman, The Other Palace | Review

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Friday, 31 August 2018

There is Nothing Like a Dame, Cadogan Hall | Review


There is Nothing Like a Dame (Concert) 
Cadogan Hall
Reviewed on Thursday 30th August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Combine four of the most talented female performers to have ever graced the West End stages and a celebration of 100 years of Women in musical theatre and you have a stellar debut show from Lambert Jackson.

West End superstars Rachel Tucker, Louise Dearman, Ria Jones and Alexia Khadime joined forces to showcase some of the most iconic female roles of the last 100 years and highlight the positive changes that are happening for women in the industry. Every song seemed to top the last and it was a truly uplifting night at Cadogan Hall.

The concert opened with all four ladies floating onto the stage accompanied by rapturous applause to perform Anything Goes which set the benchmark for the night extremely high and began our journey through a number of beautiful solo's, duets, trios and quartets.


The ladies gave all round stellar performances, with highlights including a great medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs; Rachel Tucker sung a hilariously drawly version of I Can't Say No, Alexia Khadime a playful I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Outa My Hair, Ria Jones a graceful Shall We Dance and Louise Dearman a pin-drop perfect, You'll Never Walk Alone.

Since seeing Louise Dearman in her solo concert earlier this year, I have been continually surprised by her versatility as a performer and she once again showcased her ability to transform both her vocals and mannerisms to fit any style. Louise is truly a musical theatre chameleon; her performance of I Dreamed a Dream was certainly a stand out.

Other highlights included Ria Jones' With One Look from Sunset Boulevard which brought the audience to their feet, Alexia Khadime's heartfelt, Home from The Wiz and a lovely rendition of In His Eyes from Jekyll and Hyde from Rachel Tucker and Louise Dearman. Mention must also go to the wonderful duet from the three former Elphaba's, Louise Dearman, Alexia Khadime and Rachel Tucker who put a fresh spin on The Wizard and I.


The audience were also treated to a peek at the future of the West End with a great and powerful performance of Don't Rain on my Parade from Daisy Greenwood who won a competition to perform at the concert. Aged only 17, she commanded the stage and is sure to be seen again among the great performers.

It must also be pointed out how fantastic all four ladies looked, donning two glamourous gowns each and embodying the superstar vibes. Also joyous to watch, was the way all the women supported one another and watched each other as if in awe. Women supporting women is just as important now than it's ever been and it's wonderful to see women who could so easily see each other as competition, admire each other and celebrate talent. 

If the next 100 years of musical theatre is filled with performances like the ones this night provided then it will be truly wonderful!

Photo credit: Danny Kaan

There is Nothing Like a Dame, Cadogan Hall | Review

Friday, 31 August 2018

Sunday, 26 August 2018

On The Town (Prom 57), Royal Albert Hall | Review


Prom 57: On The Town (BBC Proms)
Royal Albert Hall 
Reviewed on Saturday 25th August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

What better way to celebrate what would have been Bernstein's 100th birthday, than at the Royal Albert Hall with a glorious performance of On The Town?! Written in 1944 with Adolph Green, Jerome Robbins and Betty Comden, this show is a light-hearted look at love which takes place over 24 hours in New York and is accompanied by beautifully woven music.

The plot follows three sailors who are in the Big Apple for one day only. Their time soon becomes commanded by some humourous, strong, powerful women who provide a larger than life experience. Each character is memorable and brilliantly performed by the stellar cast which celebrates some of the best the West End theatre scene has to offer. 

Each cast member came at their roles with vigour and embraced both the humour and more nuanced moments, fantastically. Whilst the humour is repetitive at times, it was very well pulled off, with well timed motifs remaining humourous instead of grating, especially the entrances of Pitkin (Barnaby Rea) whilst his fiancé Claire (Celinde Schoenmaker) and Ozzie (Nadim Naaman) were getting closer and closer.


Nathaniel Hackmann's smooth vocals were especially striking as the lovestruck Gabey, whilst Siena Kelly was perfectly flirty and humourous as Miss Turnstiles, Ivy Smith. Claire Moore was equally witty as drunken singing teacher, Madame Dilly, and earned several laughs from the audience.

Whilst the entire leading cast were extremely strong, it was Come Up To My Place, a back-and-forth duet by Hildy (Louise Dearman) and Chip (Fra Fee) which provided the most memorable scene of the night.

This very simplistic concert, whilst beautifully staged by Martin Duncan, with basic projections and innovative prop usage, really just highlighted how stunning the score of On The Town is. The music has wit and sharpness embedded in it which brings the story to life without a need for dramatic sets and scene changes.


John Wilson brought the vivid score to life, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with energy and bringing out flawless sounds. The varied musical sections showcased the adaptability and versatility of the orchestra and really evoked feelings of the golden age.

The full-house of the Royal Albert Hall were treated to a truly spectacular performance which you would be a fool to miss on BBC catch up! Full of joy and life, watching On The Town was a joyous experience.

photo credit: Mark Allan

On The Town (Prom 57), Royal Albert Hall | Review

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Louise Dearman: This is Me, The Other Palace | Review


Louise Dearman: This is Me (Concert) 
The Other Palace 
Reviewed on Saturday 19th May 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Louise Dearman is West End royalty so it's only fitting that her first solo concert in four years took place on the day of the royal wedding. The question is: who's the bigger queen? Well Meghan may actually be royalty now but Louise's killer voice, perfect humour and all round brilliant stage presence certainly makes her a Queen in my eyes.

Last night's concert at The Other Palace felt like a family coming together to celebrate Louise. I must admit I'd never seen Ms Dearman in a solo concert before but looking around at the smiling faces and hearing the instant applause made it clear that her loyal supporters and friends were all there to revel in the gloriousness of her performance. There was no hesitation in cheering, joining in to clap or laughing out loud; the audience were so giving and I can only imagine how great that must feel as a performer. 

Louise's performance was faultless. Her natural wit and charm had me smiling from ear to ear and just feeling joyous. The concert featured a number of songs from new album For You, For Me which includes songs Louise has fallen in love with over the years and songs fans have asked her to sing. Particular stand out's of the night were Easy as Life which was effortlessly beautiful and Time Heals Everything which not only sounded glorious but rekindled my love for Mack and Mabel. Other standouts were the haunting, Uninvited, heartfelt She Used to Be Mine and the wonderful Donna Summer medley.

The band were outstanding as were Louise's backup singers/duet partners. Ashley Samuels sounded especially beautiful durning his duet of City of Stars. The delight on everyone's faces was evident which made the killer vocals even more impressive.


Obviously Louise's powerhouse belt mixed with smooth vocals are outstanding but it's her charisma which makes a night like this so special. From the get go she commands the stage and is genuinely funny. I don't think I've ever laughed so much at a concert and am truly honoured to have been a part of the night. Louise's quick wit goes a mile a minute and she fills every moment of no singing with a joke, anecdote or hilarious facial expression which keeps the show flowing and the audience invested through the concerts entirety. Particularly hilarious was when Louise restarted her song after singing it in a MirandaSings style (not that it sounded bad to me at all!), a self-confessed lyric forgetter, Louise is professional at carrying on and makes light of any mistakes and she certainly didn't forget as many lyrics as this iconic performance of June is Busting Out All Over. 

Everyone who was a part of this concert was outstanding and it was a truly mesmerising night. Louise Dearman is a spellbinding performer and I can only hope it's not another four years until we get to experience this joy again. Louise told the audience to never be afraid of asking her to sing songs so I'd like to put my request in that she performs the entire phone book... alternatively a gender-switched version of Moving Too Fast from The Last 5 Years.

Louise's album For You, For Me is available now.

Louise Dearman: This is Me, The Other Palace | Review

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Side Show, Southwark Playhouse | Review


Side Show
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Thursday 27th October 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Side Show is an original musical which is unique in more than one way. Firstly because it tells the story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton and secondly because it flopped not once but twice on Broadway. The original 1997 production ran for a mere 91 performances with the more recent 2014 revival running for only 56, perhaps it was not a Broadway audiences cup of tea or perhaps it did not have the finesse and omph  which this current production does.

Side Show, Southwark Playhouse | Review

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Something Wonderful, Royal Festival Hall | Review


Something Wonderful
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Reviewed on Thursday 15th September 2016 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★

Last night the Royal Festival Hall played host to a wonderful exploration and celebration of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein in a fabulous one of concert featuring some of the West Ends best performers. Emma Kingston, Louise Dearman, Michael Xavier and Ryan O'Gorman fabulously performed songs from one of the best musical theatre partnerships of all time, treating us to some of their well known songs as well as some hidden gems.

Something Wonderful, Royal Festival Hall | Review

Saturday, 17 September 2016