Friday, 30 December 2016

The Sound of Musicals | UK Tour | Symphony Hall

Last night my Mum and I took our annual visit over to Symphony Hall in Birmingham to see The Sound of Musicals, a concert with the Manchester Concert Orchestra and four West End singers featuring songs from a variety of shows. I've lost count of how many times we've been to see this particular show but I do know that this is Kerry Ellis' (star of Wicked and Murder Ballad) third year performing the show, while Graham Bickley (Les Mis, Miss Saigon etc) has done even more than this. This year they were joined by the superb Joanna Ampil who has played a variety of roles worldwide including Kim in Miss Saigon, along with Oliver Tompsett who I actually saw as Sky Masterson in the West End production of Guys and Dolls this summer. As usual, the program was packed with wonderful show tunes and as always I really enjoyed the show.

The concert opened with the beautiful overture from Oklahoma! followed by the lively opening number which put everyone in good spirits for the rest of the performance. I adored Tompsett and Ampil's 'If I Loved You' from Carousel as well as Bickley's rendition of 'I Am What I Am' from La Cage Aux Follies. Other highlights included 'I Still Believe' from Miss Saigon which made me tear up, as well as Tompsett's powerful performance of 'Electricity' from Billy Elliot as it really showed off his vocal range.

The second half of the show contained beautiful performances of some of my favourite musical theatre songs including 'Seasons of Love' from Rent as well as 'Being Alive' from Company which was sung beautifully by Tompsett. I also was very moved by Ellis singing 'No-One But You' from We Will Rock You which seems particularly apt at the moment and really showed off the power in Kerry's voice. The concert was finished off with a gorgeous Les Mis medley followed by an encore of 'Dancing Queen' and 'Mamma Mia' which the crowd seemed to love.

Overall it was a very enjoyable evening and so lovely to hear such a great range of songs sung by some incredibly talented performers. The show will also play in Glasgow tonight and then at the Barbican Hall in London on Monday. As I mentioned, it is an annual production so I will be sure to send out a couple of tweets when next years line up is announced as it's certain to be an exciting night out for musical theatre lovers.

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