These days, many theatres in London’s West End are pulling in the audiences with so-called ‘jukebox musicals’ – think Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You and Jersey Boys and you’ll know what I mean. West End Experience offered something else entirely, a musicals jukebox is probably the best description I can come up with.
Given that the show was on at the Grand on the same night that the aforementioned Mamma Mia was ending its summer-long run at the Opera House, there was a good sized crowd ready to be transported on a musical journey which began with Another Openin’, Another Show from Kiss Me Kate. The energetic rendition was the shape of things to come, as the hard-working cast of just seven covered everything from Miss Saigon, The Lion King and Les Miserables to Blood Brothers, Wicked and Mary Poppins.
It was a slow burning first half with the best definitely saved until after the interval. The We Will Rock You Medley and songs from Wicked were well executed and enthusiastically received. The star of the show was undoubtedly Geraldine Atkins, whose performances of I Have Nothing and I Will Always Love You from The Bodyguard were the stand-out moments of the night for me. Asa Elliott (you may know him from the TV show, Benidorm) and Debbie Chapman were the other leading vocalists who had their moments in the spotlight.
There were occasional problems with the set and some annoying mic feedback issues in a show of highs and lows.
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