6 June 2021

The Show Must Go On Live - Review

The Theatre Support Fund + has been one of the leading theatrical good causes during this last year raising money for 3 important charities, Acting For Others, Fleabag Support Fund and NHS COVID-19 Urgent Appeal. The fund has raised now raised over 1 million pounds through varied merchandise including t-shirts, notebooks, posters and more or showcasing classic shows online through YouTube and a week long run of The Show Must Go On Live concerts at the Palace Theatre.


The live concerts ran at the Palace Theatre which ran between 2nd - 6th June 2021 in person to a socially distance audience. The concerts featuring stars of shows which are currently playing or awaiting re-opening in the West End supported by a choir of graduates who were unable to celebrate their graduations as well as a brilliant orchestra under the musical direction of Stuart Morley. The final concert was live also lived streamed internationally on YouTube and that's how I watched it.


The opening number. Photo by Johan Persson


The show opened with 'The Show Must Go On' specially written by Stiles and Drewe and performed by the shows hosts Bonnie Langford and Trevor Dion Nicholas and what a joyous number, perfectly capturing the feeling and the emotion of the last year as the curtain rises again with witty lyrics you'd expect from top level writing duo. It set the tone for a marvellous celebration of theatre and the talent that often takes to its stages. 


The first two numbers celebrated two of the newer hits in the West End, Jordan Luke Gage superbly performed the Bon Jovi song 'It's My Life' which forms part of & Juliet and then Collette Guitart perfomed the powerful ballad 'Heart of Stone' from Six. There was a Disney celebration that followed with Kayi Ushe and Janique Charles performing 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' from The Lion King and Zizi Strallen, Ellie Jones and Fred Wilcox performing 'Practically Perfect' from Mary Poppins.


There was a celebration of Broadway imports with Trevor Dion Nicholas swapping his usual Hamilton role of George Washington to sing King George III's big number 'You'll Be Back'. One of the nights highlights was a really moving performance of 'For Forever' by Marcus Harman from Dear Evan Hansen. I had the pleasure to see Marcus in this role and he was truly outstanding. Aimie Atkinson followed with 'I Can't Go Back' from Pretty Woman.


Marcus Harman. Photo by Johan Persson.


Closing the first act were two numbers from Jukebox musical. 'We Don't Need Another Hero' performed by Aisha Jawando from Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and 'The Winner Takes It All' performed by Mazz Murray. A wonderful way to round up the first act with two powerhouse vocal performances.


Into Act Two and an upbeat start with Olly Dobson performing 'The Power Of Love' from the forthcoming West End transfer of Back To The Future The Musical. This was followed by two more shows that transferred from across the Atlantic. Dom Simpson and Tom Xander with 'You and Me (But Mostly Me)' from The Book of Mormon and Alice Fearn with the beautiful 'Me and The Sky' from Come From Away which she sung with such moving skill and vocals.


The next two songs together were from two home grown musicals that are being made into movie musicals. Tilly-Raye Bayer, Imogen Cole, Alyssa D'Souza and Alex Munden, who all share the role the title role of Matilda and Carly Thoms performing 'When I Grow Up' from Matilda. The excellent Sharan Phull performed a beautiful medley from Everybody's Talking About Jamie.


Sharan Phull. Photo by Johan Persson.

It moved on to the two longest running West End musicals, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. Legend of both shows, John Owen Jones showed why he's been long associated with Les Mis with his vocally perfect 'Bring Him Home', deeply moving and powerful you could see how much it meant to John to be back in front of an audience. Rhys Whitfield and Lucy St Louis followed with 'All I Ask Of You' from The Phantom of the Opera - a gorgeous duet.


Laura Pick followed with a great rendition of 'The Wizard and I' from Wicked before another moving number by Alexia Khadime and Christine Allado performing the soaring duet 'When You Believe' from The Prince of Egypt. After speeches by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Theatre Support Fund + founders Chris Marcus and Damien Stanton and a celebration of the fund reaching one million pounds in donations we headed towards the nights finale a performance the night's and the funds anthem 'The Show Must Go On' sung by the entire company. A stirring and magical way to round up the night.


Alexia Khadime and Christine Allado. Photo by Johan Persson.

The important take away was the support and the charity fund that the night was in aid of. You can donate to the fund from their website https://theatresupportfund.co.uk/collections/donate or if you're in the UK you can donate by text b texting THEARE10 to 70460 to donate £10, THEATRE20 to 70460 to donate £20 or THEATRE30 to 70460 to donate £30.


A wholesome and superb celebration of the West End relighting the Palace Theatre stage with theatrical joy and reminding us all that through it all the show really must go on.


You can catch the live stream available for 7 days until Sunday 13th June - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_3FoYTqVL8

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