Date: 23rd January 2011
Venue: Grand Opera House, York
Cast: Samantha Barks, Antony Hansen with Scott Garnham, Killian Donnelly, Jeff Nicholson, Gina Beck, Rachel Bingham and Jessie May
This is what I have in mind as my after-exam treat and boy, was it a good treat! My seat was up in the first row of the grand circle with great view of the stage. What attracted me to this concert was simply the cast, mainly from the current West End cast of Les Miserables. I have seen them in action last year and was so excited to know that they are doing a concert of their own.
The show started off with 'A New Song' from the not-so-well-known "Songs for a New World". I think it's a great opening song and it nicely showcases everyone's singing voice, though it got a bit messed up towards the end. Then the co-producer and ensemble member of the show, Scott Garnham, welcomed us to the concert and he made it clear that tonight is simply about the "voices". Well, it was really about the voices because there wasn't anything else on the stage, the music was all pre-recorded with some lighting and simple costumes. Luckily, they didn't have the cheesy slide presentation like the one Beyond the Barricade used.
There were 6 people in the company. Scott Garnham, Killian Donnelly, Jeff Nicholson and Rachel Bingham are from the current cast of Les Miz, while Gina Beck has played Christine in The Phantom and Jessie May played Sophie in Mamma Mia! The guys seemed to be shining brighter than the girls here, boasting better vocal ability and personality. Scott was very impressive. His solo was usually of very good quality especially (an abridged version of) Till I Hear You Sing and Maria. His 'This Is the Moment' was good but I think it was placed in the wrong timing of the show which made it seem kinda flat.
Killian Donnelly was probably my favourite Enjolras ever but here the material didn't give him the chance to shine as much as he could. Still very good though. His 'Bring Him Home' was beautiful. Jeff Nicholson (AKA the Foreman) was just awesome. Where does this guy come from? He sang 'Music of the Night' and 'Anthem' impeccably and his 'Song of the King' was just hilarious. However, he seemed to be a bit uncomfortable with the choreography. Also, it was really funny when he just walked across the stage at one point before This Is the Moment to collect the microphone stand and adjust the lighting and smiled and just walked off.
(in his Joseph days)
I say it was a fun experience, definitely better than Beyond the Barricade. If only they could afford a live band, that would make the atmosphere a lot better, I think.
A New World (Company)****
The Phantom of the Opera (Gina and Jeff)****
The Music of the Night (Jeff)*****
All I Ask of You (Killian and Jessie)***
Till I Hear You Sing (Scott)*****
The Wizard and I (Samantha)*****
As Long As He Needs Me (Rachel)*****
Don't Stop Me Now (Antony)*
Somebody to Love (Jessie with Rachel and Gina)*
Fugue for Tinhorns (Jeff, Killian and Scott)*****
Luck Be a Lady (Scott with Jeff and Killian)*****
On My Own (Samantha)****
Bring Him Home (Killian)****
One Day More (Samantha, Antony and Company)***
I Go to Rio (Scott and Company)****
Superstar (Killian and Company)****
Welcome to the 60's (Jessie and Company)***
Maybe This Time (Samantha)*****
The Winner Takes It All (Rachel)*****
Prologue from Joseph... (Gina)*****
Close Every Door (Antony)****
Song of the King (Jeff and Company)*****
Take Me As I Am (Killian and Jessie)**
This Is the Moment (Scott)***
Never Forget (Samantha, Antony and Company)****