West End Anthems – Review 12/01/14

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Last night saw the vocal talents of Kerry Ellis, Alasdair Harvey, Helen Hobson and Oliver Tompsett join forces in the theatrical extravaganza of West End Anthems at the Watford Colosseum. Returning with their show from last summer’s Glow festival at Bluewater, the talented quartet invited audiences back to join them on a journey through some of the world’s most famous musicals.

While a lot of songs performed came from the stars’ own careers, the highlight of the night was We Will Rock You lead Tompsett’s rendition of ‘Heaven on Their Minds’ from Jesus Christ Superstar. His stunning version of the classic song captivated the audience and stole the show, but all the performers had outstanding moments that silenced the room.

Ellis held the audience in the palm of her hand with ‘Somebody to Love’, from the famed Queen musical, but it was her version of ‘Take That Look Off Your Face’, from the show she would most like to perform, Tell Me On A Sunday, that really shone.

‘Memory’ from Cats proved Hobson to be a talented theatre veteran, while her version of ‘Dancing Queen’ from the hit musical Mamma Mia! allowed backing vocalists Caroline Deverill and Jennifer Tierney  the opportunity to liven the show, which the audience welcomed.

Harvey may have played Raoul when he starred in the popular Phantom of the Opera, but his interpretation of ‘Music of the Night’ proved he would make a stunning lead.

The medley of ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’ that Harvey performed with Tompsett also served to remind us of the huge vocal powers required of male performers, a challenge to which they both rose. A tribute to Les Miserables would not be complete without ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, and Ellis and Hobson teamed up to perform an exquisite duet of the iconic song.

Craig Adams contributed musical arrangements for the song, providing some beautiful versions of popular hits. His arrangement of ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, performed by Ellis, gave the song a new lease of life with a more contemporary feel.

While the evening provided an intense journey through some of theatre’s most emotional shows, it would not have been complete without the upbeat, crowd-pleasing hits from the West End’s most loved jukebox musicals, and the finale of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ joined the company and audience together to end on a grin.

You can read our interview with Kerry Ellis here.

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