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West End Musical Celebration

5
Seen at the Palace Theatre
By Derek

The title says it all. What a fabulous heart-warming, tear-jerking, life-affirming way to spend an evening back in the theatre. That may be a big lot of words, but this is a big lot of show. With the live 5 piece band on stage with 3 backing singers, it is simply set but delightfully delivered. Current stars of the West End include Ben Forster, Alice Fearn, Sophie Evans, Layton Williams, Rachel John, Trevor Dion Nicholas & Shanay Holmes.

As host, Shanay Holmes invites us all to ‘Step into the world of musicals’ and ‘become the cast’ in this feelgood immersive concert. The audience were enthusiastic in accepting her invitation. A surprise that she revealed they are the only black producers on the West End, and hoped that after the pandemic things show signs of change. I hope she’s right.

The first half starts gently with some of the performers’ signature songs. The show really ignites when Alice Fearn appears singing “They just keep moving the line”, I loved her every breath. And Layton Williams gave amazing outrageous full-blooded energy each time he appeared.

In the second half, everything raises several notches. The exuberance with which each performer grabbed attention was remarkable. They have selected an interesting range of crowd pleasers and less obvious numbers, which ensures our engagement throughout. Rachel John sold great power ballads with a splendid version of “Don’t rain on my parade”. Ben Forster got tender in “Music of the night; Sophie Evans lit up in “Suddenly Seymour”. Trevor Dion Nicholas just got better and better. Alice Fearn took effortless control with “Defying gravity” and “Let it go”. Shanay Holmes opened and closed the show with the power of “You can’t stop the beat” and “One night only”. Brilliant.

Get there to see it and join the celebration!

Derek Benfield


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