Saturday, 11 February 2017

Musical Mixtape | Walker Theatre

What a treat Musical Mixtape was! I've seen a few of Chris and Lucy Key's shows previously but this year they were joined by Les Miserables alumni Carrie Hope Fletcher and Rob Houchen along with students from their theatre school, Key Theatre Academy. Now I've seen countless musical variety concerts over the years but I have to say I think this was my favourite. The choice of songs was brilliant, with some classics from Carousel all the way up to some very modern shows including Waitress and Hamilton. What I also enjoyed was how unusual the songs were. You often find the same big hits from shows being performed over and over again so it was refreshing to hear some lesser known numbers sung by some truly amazing musical talents.

The show ran for just over two hours but it seemed to pass so quickly. I could ramble on about each song but there were so many that this review would be essay length so I'm just going to try and pick out some of my favourites. I've seen both Carrie and Rob in Les Mis multiple times and have seen Carrie in concert once previously so I know how great their voices are but it was wonderful to hear them sing such an interesting mix of music. Carrie's first number was 'Home' from Beauty and the Beast which was very moving, and then she really showed off her belter of a voice when she sang 'The Wizard and I' from Wicked, a role which I'd love to see her play in the West End.

Rob was accompanied by some students from Key Theatre Academy for his first number, 'Close Every Door' from Joseph. It was incredibly powerful and he made it sound so effortless. He also performed 'Maria' from West Side Story and of course, 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' from Les Miserables, and the audience seemed to adore him. Being the avid musical fan I am, there were only a couple of songs I didn't know, one of which was the duet 'Time Stops' from Big Fish sung by Carrie and Rob. Their voices really sound lovely together and they have geninely great chemistry on stage.

Chris and Lucy Key also got chance to show off their voices. Chris opened the show with 'Wilkommen' from Cabaret and went on to sing a beautiful rendition of 'If I loved you' from Carousel, followed by Lucy performing 'You'll never walk alone' which really suited her soprano tones. Their duet of 'The marriage tango' from I love you, you're perfect now change had the audience in stitches, as did their rendition of 'Bad Idea' from Waitress.

The students also provided some wonderful harmonies in places. The younger students performed 'If only you would listen' from School of Rock, one of my current favourite shows and the older students joined Lucy and Chris for a gorgeous arrangement of 'Tell me it's not true' from Blood Brothers. Other highlights included a duet of 'Bring him home' sung by Chris and Rob and 'First Date/Last Night' from Dogfight performed by Carrie and Rob. It was such an enjoyable night at the theatre and so great to hear some of my favourite songs being performed by some of my favourite performers. I can't wait to see more of Carrie and Rob in the future and I'll definitely be getting myself a ticket to the next show put on by Key Theatre Academy.

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