Hope and Charity at The Churchill Theatre
Hope and Charity – a Charity concert at The Churchill Theatre
I was invited to Hope and Charity, a musical theatre concert in aid of St Christopher’s Hospice on Thursday night in the Lounge at The Churchill Theatre. Organised by local performer and LSMT graduate, Sarah-Leanne Howe she gathered a line up of 10 musical theatre performers many of which had also attended LSMT with her, although there was also Mountview, Lanes and GSA graduates thrown into the mix, topped off with Georg Tormann, the compare for the evening and a judge on the ITV show ‘All Together Now.’
The show was mostly made up of modern musical theatre numbers including numbers from ‘Waitress,’ ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ ‘Anastasia,’ ‘Next to Normal’ and many more. Being a huge fan of the modern musical these song choices were right up my street and it was also nice to hear some numbers I wasn’t overly familiar with such as ‘Never Again’ from King David. The opening and closing of the show with a’A New World’ from Songs for A New World and ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman,’ were also nice choices as it not only showed of individual vocalists well but their combined sound and harmonies were a highlight of the evening.
My main criticism however is that whilst 90% of the songs were modern musical theatre there was the odd song in there such as ‘On The Street Where You Live’ from My Fair Lady and ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ from Oliver. Whist these more traditional songs were all performed beautifully they did slightly jar with the rest of the songs. Perhaps in future a bit more consideration could be given to a more cohesive set list, whether this is simply theming the songs or sticking purely to modern musicals.
It is almost unfair to single out some performers as the standard of performances across the evening was incredibly high. They all had their own unique sound and strengths that they played to very well from the more classical sounding and opera trained Nathan Bellis to the likes of Robyn Hampton who has a soulful voice and bundles of sass. Jake Bryon burst onto the stage with ‘I’m Alive’ from ‘Next to Normal’ and brought bundles of energy. He needs to be snapped up for a show such as Spring Awakening where this energy and a great voice would be perfectly utilised.
Both Sarah-Leanne Howe and Adam Dickinson stood out for their ability to act through song, both in their duet ‘Only Us’ from Dear Evan Hansen but in all of their own solo’s such as ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress by Adam and ‘Journey To The Past’ from Anastasia by Sarah. Other such as Larissa Webb brought a touch of comedy to the evening with ‘Right Hand Man’ from Something Rotten and also stood out for her distinctive rich alto tone.
The lounge at the Churchill Theatre was also a great venue choice with an intimate and relaxed enough feel for a cabaret of this type. Overall I had a really enjoyable evening at Hope and Charity listening to a fresh selection of musical theatre songs performed by a cast filled with the stars of tomorrow.