Venue – Sunderland Empire
Date – Saturday 1st April 2017
This is so much more than just listening to four people sing some songs from different musicals. It is a passionate tribute to those musicals with incredible performances to go along with the much-loved songs. They are acting each role as they sing and putting everything into doing that. It really must be such a tough show to do, changing from one character to the next.
I think I have just about remembered all of the shows that they covered in this highly entertaining and brilliant show. Although I do feel as though I am missing a couple (I knew I should have made a note on my phone during the interval of the first act then at the end the second act. Check out how many incredible shows were covered though . . . Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Blood Brothers, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carousel, The Lion King, Evita, Spamalot, Chess, Little Shop of Horrors and of course to finish it al off Les Miserables.
Les Miserables is the whole reason Beyond the Barricade the show concert came about thanks to Andy Reiss and David Fawcett who became friends when working on Les Mis. They came up with the idea of the show and it has been running now for 18 years, which is just brilliant. It seems as though the women have changed over the years but with that key thing in common that they have been in productions of Les Mis. They have all been in many different shows in the West End, UK and European touring productions.
When you watch each of them perform you can understand how and why they have been in so many different musical productions, they are extremely talented with both vocals and acting performances. I also loved that I wasn’t sure which musical was going to be showcased next and that certainly kept for such a great atmosphere in the audience. With David Fawcett having little talks in-between it also offered the chance to guess which musical it was going to be by his description.
The biggest surprise for me was in the inclusion of Spamalot, it was obviously brilliant to see the show being appreciated with so many of the other longest running ones. I really do think it’s such a clever show, and it’s always nice to get to sing-a-long to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. By the interval I was realising just how much of a musical theatre geek I am considering the only show I had not seen was West Side Story (but know the music) then I think by the end the only other to add to that was Little Shop of Horrors, again though I knew the song.
I think the best thing I can say about this show is that as soon as I got home I was checking the rest of the Tour Dates and seeing if it was coming back to the North East this year, luckily it is coming to Durham (never been to that theatre) in October so I am very tempted to get tickets for that. Then I will be checking for 2018 dates when they are announced as well. If you are a fan of musical theatre then this really is just the show for you!
It was getting my thinking how many times I have seen different shows and which ones I really should be adding to my now extensive list from the past 11 years of proper theatre going. I applaud Andy Reiss and David Fawcett for this incredible venture, it really is more than worth seeing the incredible talent they possess on stage live along with Katie Leeming and Rebecca Vere. Not very often you will see four performers get the chance to show off such amazing vocal range all in one night with the different shows that they take on over the incredible two hours.
I will admit though that when we had the Les Mis section at the end, I was wondering why One Day More had been missed out. Didn’t have to worry for long though as it is saved for the encore! Again done in a truly incredible way, I am totally running out of ways I can gush about how much I really enjoyed this evening at the theatre. Such a nice way to be able to see so many different musicals being performed in one brilliant show. Certainly made me smile throughout and leave humming so many different songs.