Directed by James Williams this was a deftly crafted show giving 12 stars of tomorrow a chance to demonstrate to an audience the range of their acting and singing skills and talent.
Under the music direction of David Laugharne from the piano, the band comprising Caroline Fairchild, violin; Eliza French, sax, clarinet and flute; Luke Adams, guitar; Matthew Farrell, acoustic bass & bass guitar and Luke Baxter, drum kit/percussion swept us along with song after song from classic musicals to lesser performed shows.
As the audience take their seats so to do the 12 singers on a collection of chairs on the stage facing us, and they chat amongst themselves, before the performances begin. The style is each singer standing up to perform, sometimes with other performers joining in for chorus work. Then we had full company big hitters such as the excerpts from Bernstein’s “On The Town”, “West Side Story” and “Mass”.
Choreographed by Grace Warner, the individual performances were framed by the opening song Lovisa Forsell singing I Have Confidence from The Sound with youthful charm and the evening culminating in Eric Hallengren’s hearty and powerful Memphis Lives in Me, “Memphis the Musical”, with the ensemble providing rousing finale.
Each singer demonstrated their individual personality with songs and short recital pieces that played to their strengths, both vocally and perhaps just occasionally physically.
Highlights included Caeli Austin, Wait A Bit Just So, Michael Robert-Lowe, Out There, Barnum, Kate McKeown, There’s a Fine, Fine Line, Avenue Q, Timothy Roberts, For Forever, Dear Evan Hansen, Becca Barrett, Feeling Good, The Roar of the Greasepaint—The Smell of the Crowd, Teleri Hughes, When It All Falls Down, Chaplin, Alexandra Morton, She Used To Be Mine, Waitress, Emma Warren, Like Love, Charlie Girl, Michael Robert-Lowe, Say Goodnight, Gracie, Isabel Briccolani, Right Hand Man, Something Rotten James Rockey, How It Ends, Big Fish.
The show was also performed at The Wyndham Theatre, London.
Clearly, these singers are now ready to walk straight into West End roles and there are several big personalities who will no doubt be snapped up by casting agents.