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I ❤️ Musicals - Leicester Amateur Operatic Society Review

A night of song and dance from some of the world's best musicals? Who could ask for anything more!

Leicester Amateur Operatic Society (LAOS) presented their wonderful celebration of all things musical theatre at Leicester's The Little Theatre on Saturday 23rd September 2023 with two fabulous performances showcasing some of the excellent talent that the Leicester amateur scene has to offer.

The company. Photo by Matthew Cawrey Photography.

The showcase devised by Nick Cox and superbly hosted by Cox and Martin Bell cleverly broke down the evening into sections, following the journey of a musical. The evening opened and closed with 'A Musical' from Something Rotten! which was led by Cox and Bell and featured the full company. This number set the tone for what lay ahead. Cox and Bell form a tremendous double-act with Bell being the stooge to hilarious comedic effect. 

The first section celebrated the opening numbers with songs featured including 'Welcome To The Rock' from Come From Away, the titular number from The Sound of Music sung by Sarah-Jane Barton-Wales and 'Hello' from The Book of Mormon. 'Hello' in particular showcased the skillful eye for humour choreographed by Cox and Shelley Henry-Thornton.

The next section was the 'I Want' songs, where a character is establishing themselves. James King's 'Waving Through A Window' from Dear Evan Hansen and Oliva King's 'Over The Rainbow' from The Wizard of Oz, showcased their vocal prowess and why they could be stars of the stage for years to come. These two solos were followed up by Pip Iliffe and Jenna Leigh's lovely duet of 'Movie In My Mind' from Miss Saigon.

Comic Relief numbers added more light into the evening with Vaughan Barton-Ashcroft delighting the audience with 'You'll Be Back' from Hamilton before Debbie and Andy Longley-Brown had a hoot performing 'A Little Priest' from Sweeney Todd. The section ended with the sultry and well-delivered 'Cell Block Tango' from Chicago performed by Jacq Ardron, Sarah-Jane Barton-Wales, Emily Childs, Boo Cooper, Mia Dobney and Jenna Leigh

Jacq Arden, Jenna Leigh, Mia Dobney, Sarah-Jane Barton-Wales, Emily Childs and Boo Cooper performing 'Cell Block Tango'. Photo by Matthew Cawrey Photography.

Wrapping up the first act was Emily Childs giving a cracking solo of 'Don't Rain On My Parade' from Funny Girl before one of the all-time great Act One Finales 'One Day More' from Les Miserables was performed by the full company with delighting gusto. 

Opening the second act was 'Seasons of Love' from Rent performed by the full company with Katie Wilson's powerhouse vocals wowing. Incidently the next LAOS production will be of Rent when they perform it next year at Curve's Studio where it will run from 4th until 8th June 2024, tickets will be on sale soon. The link is at the bottom of this post.

The company performing 'Seasons of Love' from Rent. Photo by Matthew Cawrey Photography

The Duet section came next with performances of 'Love Is An Open Door' from Frozen by Matt Barton-Ashcroft and Kerry Smith playfully performing the number and the choreography by Sarah Sharland. Boo Cooper and James King delighted with 'Seventeen' from Heathers before Debbie and Andy Longley-Brown returned with a rendition of 'Elephant Love Medley' from Moulin Rouge, the duo who are married showcase the intimacy and romanticism of their own lives through the song.

The 15 Minutes of Fame section followed with two great vocal performances, firstly Ed Turner's 'Michael In The Bathroom' from Be More Chill and then Shelley Henry-Thornton's 'Diva's Lament' from Spamalot.

The 11 O'Clock numbers came next with arguably the performance of the evening as Sarah-Jane Barton-Wales powerfully sang 'She Used To Be Mine' from Waitress, this was followed up by 'What I Did For Love' from A Chorus Line led by Nade Franklin and the company.

Two songs made up the Finale section with 'Tell Me It's Not True' from Blood Brothers sung by Callie Barter and the Company before the toe-tapping delight that is the title song from Six performed brilliantly by Emily Childs, Boo Cooper, Mia Dobney, Jenna Leigh, Kerry Smith and Katie Wilson. 

This left the encore of a reprise of 'A Musical' from Something Rotten to end the evening's entertainment, leaving the audience satisfied, delighted and full of song as they exited the theatre. Undoubtedly Leicester's amateur musical theatre scene has some talents who wouldn't look out of place on bigger stages. The whole evening is delivered with passion and love for musicals that was evident in each performance. Same time next year?

The next production at the Little Theatre is Stags and Hens (The Remix) from the 2nd until the 7th of October, with further productions including IDOLS production of The School of Rock, The Innocents, Fallen Angels, Knighton Park Amateur Operatic Society's production of Nativity, The Christmas pantomime of Puss In Boots, April In Paris and much more. Visit to find out more. Leicester Amateur Operatic Society will perform Rent at Curve's Studio from the 4th until the 8th of June 2024. Find out more about the society on their website

Jenna Leigh, Emily Childs, Boo Cooper, Mia Dobney, Kerry Smith and Katie Wilson perform the title song from Six. Photo by Matthew Cawrey Photography.

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