Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Celinde Schoenmaker. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Celinde Schoenmaker. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, 3 February 2019

West End Women, Cadogan Hall | Review


West End Women (Concert)
Cadogan Hall
Reviewed on Saturday 2nd February 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

After their Cadogan Hall debut, Lambert Jackson Productions are back with West End Women,  featuring three of the most prominent performers UK theatre has to offer: Rachel JohnLauren Samuels and  Celinde Schoenmaker. Taking us on a loose history of women in theatre and melting our faces off with vocal gymnastics, this was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening.

Despite the biting wind outside and the snow enveloping the country, Cadogan Hall felt warm and buzzy as it was taken over by powerhouse performance followed by powerhouse performance.  The trio opened with the upbeat 'I Got Rhythm', before some solo showcases of their voices. A simplistic and heartwarming rendition of 'Someone To Watch Over Me' brought stillness to the room thanks to Celinde SchoenmakerLauren Samuels kept us in the 20s with a beautiful rendition of 'Lady, be Good'; whilst Rachel John brought us a decade further forward with the sultry and smooth 'Summertime'.

The ladies were then joined by the MX Masterclass choir for 'Blow Gabriel Blow', followed by a Rodgers and Hammerstein medley of 'It Might As Well Be Spring', 'My Favourite Things' and 'If I Loved You'. The choir then gave a vivacious and humourous performance of 'America' which brought some real energy to the concert and gave us a glimpse into the future of the West End. 

Also giving us the inside scoop on 'Names To Remember' were the wonderful competition winners who performed throughout the concert. Three became six as act two opened with the merry murderesses in the 'Cell Block Tango', before Brady Isaacs Pearce gave a spine tingling performance of 'A Piece of Sky'. I've said before that Brady is one to watch out for and her continually more brilliant performances are just evidence of that. Watch out West End! Fourteen year old Talia Robens was equally as powerful with 'Everything I Know', which she performed with effortless grace.

West End Women presented music from 1930 all the way to 2017 and showed just how timeless the songs and stories are. Every performance was a faultless delight but some highlights among the highlights included Lauren's gloriously clear renditions of 'Maybe This Time' and 'Never Enough'; Celinde's 'Think of Me' and Rachel's 'I Never Knew His Name' (Bring Brooklyn to the West End now please). All three women gave vocal masterclasses as their technique and power provided the backbone to the entire night. Whilst each powerhouse brings something individual to the table, the trio also work gloriously together and their clear as glass voices ring out with pure sincerity and strength in the acoustically great space of Cadogan Hall. 

Alongside the fantastic musicians (expertly led by Adam Hoskins) this was a really great night which reminded me of why the music part of musical theatre is so special and moving. For a masterclass in technique, go see these ladies in their future endeavours.

photo credit: Mark Sykes

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Mimma (Concert), Cadogan Hall | Review


Mimma (Concert)
Cadogan Hall
Reviewed on Monday 28th February by Holly Inch
★★★★★

Ron Siemiginowski and Giles Watson’s Mimma tells the story of two women who form an unlikely friendship in the midst of World War 2: Sarah, an aspiring jazz singer, and Mimma, a young Italian girl sent to live with her uncle in London’s Soho. Through the growing fear in London, her brother’s arrest, and the tension between Italy and England, Mimma’s danger grows evermore, and she could lose everything- apart from the only person that she can trust: Sarah.
Mimma’s one night performance was not something to be missed and showcased the best of what theatre has to offer. The musical concert took place at Cadogan Hall and included a cast of seventeen alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra. The stage didn’t include much set, however the cast brought the story to life with the props, tables, and chairs that they had (I must note, there were also projections on the back wall that helped differentiate from scene to scene). All of the cast members were fitted with beautiful 1940’s outfits that only added to the world of Mimma and looked amazing on stage together.

The show’s cast were phenomenal. Led by Sir David Suchet as Alredo Frassati, Celinde Schoenmaker as Mimma, and Louise Dearman as Sarah, all of whom brought Mimma’s story to life through the score and the phenomenal 40s style choreography, brilliantly choreographed Chris Whittaker. Celinde Schoenmaker was outstanding as Mimma, bringing her powerful soprano voice into the. Her portrayal of the hardships that Mimma goes through was unparalleled, her acting beautifully natural, and her higher register something to marvel. As her on stage friend, Louise Dearman was a standout role. Dearman brought such range to the role of Sarah that you found it hard to believe that she hadn’t gone through the experiences that she portrayed on stage. Aside from that, her singing was utterly beautiful and captivating to listen, combining jazz and opera styles into a wonderful blend that was heavenly to hear. Her performance of 'The Folds of Time' (a beautifully emotional song about Sarah and her fiancé, who is in the navy) was so sweetly sung and incorporated such truth tied into it.


John Owen-Jones as Lorenzo- though we didn’t see this part as much as some others- was brilliantly played and sung and was exactly what you would expect from the amazing Owen-Jones. A beautiful moment in the show came when Ashley Riches- playing Aldo Marini, Mimma’s brother- and Elena Xanthoudakis- playing Ada Marini, Mimma’s mother- sang together in the song 'Aria Pieta'. The two’s voices blended well together, and they had a beautiful dynamic as mother and son. Riches specifically had an incredible range on him and portrayed the hardships experienced by Aldo in a way that had me almost in tears. Riches and Xanthoudakis joined Schoenmaker in an out-of-this-world group number called 'Aria Piemontese' which left my jaw on the floor. 

Steve Serlin as Jacob Katz was another stand out performance because his comedy timing was impeccable and brought the comedic relief that left the audience with smiles on their faces. The ensemble just made the show. They constantly were acting, singing, dancing, and just all together brought their moments to life. The dancing was to an amazingly high-standard, and their vocals added a wonderful layer to the song.

With a wonderful composition, an absolutely phenomenal cast with insane vocal, Mimma was a fantastic musical and spoke on issues faced during World War 2 in a respectful and truthful light. I only hope that this is the start of a bright future for this musical.

photo credit: Danny Kaan

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Light in the Piazza, Royal Festival Hall | Review


The Light in the Piazza
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 19th June 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

The Light in the Piazza is a contemporary musical which invokes all the feelings of the golden age and is a sumptuous treat for the eyes and ears. The marvellously swooping score by Adam Guettel whisks you away from the opening moment and enthrals you in the beauty and magic of this delicate Italian love story.

Margaret Johnson (Fleming) is a well to do Southern lady who brings her fragile daughter Clara (Cameron) to Florence for a holiday. When Clara falls for a young Italian, Fabrizio (Houchen), Margaret is understandably protective and sceptical. Other than that, very little happens book wise but thanks to the glorious performances and production values, this is a divine musical.

As Clara, Dove Cameron is a marvel. A perfect combination of charm, innocence, an unruly heart and a headstrong mind, she lights up the stage every second she's on it (which is most of the show). Equally, the more intensely dramatic moments of the musical are performed with a candor and aggression which strikes and moves the audience. Cameron is a true star with vocals to match her captivating performance.


Rob Houchen has a way of surprising audiences with each role he takes on. This time it's the Italian leading man, Fabrizio, who is swoon-worthy, humourous and charismatic. As always Rob's acting performance is strong, with the comedic moments especially landing well; but it's Houchen's vocal performance which solidifies him as the dream casting choice for this role. The swooping vocals seem to pour out of thin air as Rob captures every moment with ease and control. Alongside Cameron, the pair create a chemistry which fizzles around the Festival Hall and creates a fuzzy feeling from start to end. 

Taking the role of the protective mother, Renée Fleming soars. Her deep operatic voice fills the festival hall but still manages to capture the intimate vulnerability she feels throughout. Mention must go to Mick Potter who has designed the sound of this show excellently. With the mix of operatic and musical theatre performers, there is always a risk of one overpowering the other, especially with opera performers usually being unmiced but this is not the case at all and the two styles meld and compliment each other fantastically.

Celinde Schoenmaker oozes sass as she struts across the stage in a smooth two piece and provides some of the musicals conflict during her marvellously performed The Joy You Feel. Liam Tamne is light relief as her husband Guiseppe Naccarelli. Alex Jennings also gives a memorably suave performance as patriarch Signor Naccarelli.


Brigette Reiffenstuel's 'frocks' are completely divine and indulgent, with floating fabrics and tailored Italian suits covering the stage. Backed by Robert Jones' simplistic but intuitive set, Dove Cameron seems almost doll like as she twirls around Italy in her magnificent pastel coloured clothing.

Sure, the story is lacking, but this is a show about love and you can't help but feel overcome by warmth as you watch it all play out. There are many a predictable moment, but thanks to Daniel Evans' direction, they're all carried out so well that they feel fresh and unexpected, regardless.

The Light in the Piazza runs at the Royal Festival Hall until 5th July 2019

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

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