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  • Philip Dehany

My Stagey Week (and a half) 47



On Monday, I joined my Paul Vale, a leading critic at The Stage for drinks at the Old Nell on Drury Lane to celebrate twenty years since he began writing for The Stage.



Paul is a dear friend who has been incredibly kind and supportive of my blog since I started out. He has always been there to offer advice and support, which I have always really appreciated.

It was nice also to catch up and chat to Scott Matthewman, another reviewer I respect, and author Matthew Todd. I was also introduced to Jon Bradfield, the writer of Above the Stag’s adult panto Pinnochio who has been brought in to write Cinderella at the Trafalgar Studios, and Stuart Saint stepped down.

I left the party while it was still swinging to race over to the Boulevard theatre where the international superstar Nicole Scherzinger was giving the second of her intimate cabarets.



Both evenings had understandably sold out, but luckily the lovely Lucy who works for the Boulevard Theatre was able to squeeze me in, which I really appreciated.

It’s incredible that Nicole chose to do these shows, as she is such a huge star, but as soon as she came on to stage, you could see exactly why she had chosen this venue. She candidly joked about performing in what is a “refurbished sex club” as she looked incredible in black thigh length boots, mini skirt and corset.



She honestly looked incredible, and is visibly one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.

The versatile theatre had arranged the seating into rows and removed the tables, in order to fit more people in, sat in the middle of the back row was X Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary. I also spotted School of Rock performer Ben Yates, sat close to the stage. Ben had appeared in Cats at the London Palladium with Nicole.



Nicole starting her set with a song from Kiss of the Spiderwoman, as she slivered through the audience, stroking the back of Dermot’s head before landing on Ben’s lap, who smiled ecstatically.



Nicole is a bonafide superstar who exudes sex appeal and allure, but she is also an incredible vocalist and dancer, as well as a formidable actress and performer which became evident through the course of the evening, as she performed an array of show tunes.

It’s easy to forget that Nicole has a long history in performance and musical theatre, before playing Grizabella in Cats, which rewarded her an Olivier nomination in 2015, Nicole had performed The Phantom of the Opera in 2011’s Royal Variety Performance, and Don’t Cry for me Argentina in 2013 at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 40 Musical Years.


In 2010 Nicole played Maureen in the Hollywood Bowl production of Rent directed by Neil Patrick Harris.

As part of her evening at the Boulevard Theatre, she repeated all these moments, by performing these songs from Rent, Cats and Evita, as well as songs from Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton and lesser known musical Two By Two.



Nicole also sang Macarthur Park from Priscilla, I Put A Spell On You, and Purple Rain by Prince, completing the evening with a medley of Pussycat Doll songs along with full choreography which was brilliant.

I am lost for words to describe how incredible the evening was, and how mesmerising it was to watch Nicole in this very intimate venue. On the stage with her was a full 12 piece band crammed in and around her. I honestly don’t know how the Boulevard Theatre managed to secure Nicole for these shows, or how much it must have cost them, as even at £45 a ticket, the revenue from ticket sales would barely have covered the cost of the band alone - but I am very very grateful to them. Nicole was and is a sublime performer and it will take a lot for anyone to ever come close to recreating an evening like this.

On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of watching another Pussycat Doll, this one was playing Cinderella at the New Wimbledon Theatre.



Melody Thornton was the youngest member of the Pussycat Dolls, following their split (or hiatus-as they describe it) Melody has gone on to feature in reality TV shows Celebs Go Dating, The Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and Dancing on Ice. She then toured with the stage show Rip It Up- The 70’s. She does a really good job playing Cinderella, and for an American really seemed to understand how a panto works, which was impressive.



It’s a fine panto with all the right elements in place. Samantha Womack is sensational in the step mother role, of Baroness Demonica Hardup delivering some brilliant acting within the restrains of it being a panto. She really is a formidable actress.



Renowned soprano Lesley Garrett delvers a sterling perforce as the Fairy Godmother. Comedian and magician Pete Firman is brilliant as buttons. Leon Craig and Bobby Delaney hilariously camp it up as the ugly sisters and are a delight, and Will Jennings delivers a fine Dandini.



But it’s Edward Chitticks who really impresses, delivering song and dance he provides a brilliant Prince Charming, with his flowing grown out hair matching him to a real life Disney Prince. Ed, is gorgeous, and has toured in 9 to 5 the Musical, Hairspray, On the Town and Mamma Mia!



The show certainly has something for everyone, and is well written with some great one liners and comedy set pieces, but of course being panto the hilarity ensues when things don’t quite go to plan, and the invited children brought up on to stage stole the show thanks to Pete Firman’s repartee. By chance he also plucked from the audience my friend and resident casting director for the Union Theatre, Adam Braham.



The ensemble is a great mix of talented dancers with Matt Crandon. Stephanie Elstob. Francesca Harvey. Alice Holsgrove. Robin Lake. Katie Singh. Billy Warren and Jack Webb. All do a brilliant job, with Billy and Jack stunning the audience during one scene where they emerge in very unorthodox guard uniforms. Their costumes were certainly imagintive.



The younger ensemble is made up of children from The Arnould School of Dance and Drama who blend is brilliantly too.

It was nice to catch up with bloggers Perry O’Bree and Jordan Haugh who had brought some of her family to watch, and were all wearing Christmas jumpers. Perry was doing a brilliant job of capturing interviews with the cast afterwards while I got a few photos and chatted to them too.



It was really nice to see Leon who really is one of the nicest guys in the West End, we joked about how he and Daniel Jacob a.k.a. Vinegar Strokes keep getting mistaken for each other. People would often mistake Daniel for Leon when he was in Aladdin, and since appearing on Drag Race UK, people now keeping mistaking Leon for Vinegar Strokes. Funnily enough, Leon is now lined up to take over Daniel’s part as Sandra Bollock in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Continuing with the panto season on Wednesday I was at the London Palladium to watch Goldilocks and the Three Bears.



This Palladium Panto continues to hold enormous popularity since winning the 2018 Olivier for Best Entertainment and Family for Dick Whittington, it missed out the following year to A Monster calls.

Returning favourites Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot, are all back and on fine form having each established and built on their own personas.



The Palladium Panto is an incredibly well produced machine, and although it’s title based on the fairy tale is less commonly associated with pantomimes, in fairness the Palladium Panto is more akin to a variety show than a traditional pantomime. But then this is the London Palladium which has a long held standing as the home of variety show, and in my opinion the fusion of panto and variety show actually really works.



Joining Goldilocks and the Three Bears is TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Matt Baker plays Joey, the Clown and is surprisingly good. He has strong vocal skills and impressive acrobatic skills which lend themselves to this circus themed show.



Accompanying Nigel Haver’s Daddy bear, TV star Janine Duvitski from Benidorm fame plays Mummy Bear and West End starlet Lauren Stroud plays Baby Bear. Lauren has previously appeared in Strictly Ballroom, Top Hat, and Hairsprayas an adult, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Les Miserables and Annie as a child. In between she trained at Laine theatre Arts.



Her gorgeous husband Justin Thomas is part of the ensemble and there’s a very cute moment when the two tap dance side by side. I watched in admiration thinking it must be really nice to for them to get to work together like this in such a spectacle of a show.



Sophie Isaacs plays the titular role of Goldilocks. I first met Sophie earlier this year after had finished playing heather McNamara in Heathers. She is one of the most adorable, funny and loveliest human beings, and is very talented. Her voice and figure are to kill for. I was delighted when Sophie told me in confidence at her birthday party that she had been cast in this show. Although ridiculously under used, Sophie shines in every scene and song she is given. It really was a delight to see Sophie up there on that iconic stage exactly where she belongs.

The variety acts consisted of the brilliant Peter Pavlov & The Globe of Speed, a twenty year old stunt rider who navigates a sphere shaped cage at speed with three other motor cyclists brought in with him. It is death defying and brilliant to watch. As are the Skating Medini, two fifth generation circus performers from Italy who provide a high speed roller-skating act that is thrilling.

Matt Baker also attempts (and the night I watched, succeeded) to walk a tightrope. As simple as it seems, it really does leave you on the edge of your seat as you can’t help but get drawn in as you will Matt to succeed.

Choreographed by Karen Bruce the dance numbers are full out and stunning, thanks to the brilliant ensemble each at the top of their game.



Consisting of Charlotte Bazeley. Myles Brown. Samara Casteallo. Belle Kizzy Green. Sally Jayne Hind. Stevie Hutchinson. Ediz Ibrahim. Mollie McGugan. Ella Nonini. Alexander O’Reilly. Justin Thomas. Amy Thornton. Maxwell Trengove. Charlotte Wilmott. Luke Woollaston as well as James Bennett. James is a brilliant performer who I have known for several years, and is now married to Noel Sullivan. James has recently been branching out into choreographing and was an associate on Kiss Me, Kate and Ain’t Misbehavin’. He is a superb performer and it really was nice to see him back on the stage.



The Palladium Panto is the ultimate family attraction, and rightly so, the production values, costumes and scenery are all exceptional, and the writing is very very good. Balancing the perfect blend of innuendo and wit that appeals to both children and adults. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable show that delivers on all levels.

After the show I stayed for after show drinks and canapés, and the chance to give Sophie a huge squeeze and to chat to the rest of the cast. I also got to catch up with Jak Yarrow, Joe Mcelderry and Idriss Kargbo who all watching, and got to meet the Krankies.



Afterwards I went to Freedom Bar Soho, where Sean Parkins a.k.a. Coco Velose had been performing. In a very surreal moment, as in-between chatting to Sean and Drag Race UK star Daniel Jacob a.k.a. Vinegar Strokes, I turned to realise that Nicole Scherzinger, her boyfriend Thom Evans and his brother Max had joined us, along with Sam Smith.


We all continued to party, as several other performers from the West End began to fill the cornered off area we were in. I cornered Nicole to tell her how fantastic I had thought her show was on Monday, and she was incredibly sweet, it was also very sweet to see her and Thom who clearly have something really special developing, his brother Max was hilarious too and was definitely the life and soul of the party.

On Thursday I was at the Union Theatre to interview the cast of Whistle Down The Wind.



These are interviews I started earlier in the year with the cast of The Pirates of Penzance. Rattling through an entire cast, I pair them up and get them all to talk about the show. I then edit these together in to a few sequences.

I absolutely love making them and watching them back, you can really get a sense of the the actor behind each character and see their personalties coming through as they chat to me. It’s a real privilege to get to speak to them and them talk fondly about their work. I also like to think it’s something that they can then share with their friends and families and look back on.

As well as this is give me the opportunity to meet these brilliant people, some of which I have kept in touch with. It has also helped me develop a strong relationship with the Union Theatre, and with Sasha who runs it. It operates as a very family run business, with Sasha’s husband and kids often somewhere to be found around the theatre.



The cast consists of Sadie Levett. Tara Lucas. George Hankers. Stuart Simons. Fiona Tong. Louise Kempson. Eoin McKenna. Will Sutcliffe. Conor O’Rourke. Olivia Wormald. Laura Jeffries. And Adrian J Mercer. Each were lovely and brilliant to chat to, and again I was really pleased with how the video turned out.

You can watch it or listen to it here:

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/5GosICSp6Go

🎧 Podcast https://anchor.fm/thatstageyblog/episodes/Meets-the-cast-of-Whistle-Down-The-Wind--The-Union-Theatre-e9h5cf

After this I went to meet my ex boyfriend Marc who has just returned to London following a few months work as a singer on a Fred Olson cruise liner. We met for a burger and to watch Frozen 2, which I couldn’t wait to watch again.


After this we went to watch Emma Hatton in her Finale cabaret at the ‪Boulevard Theatre.



I was excited to see Emma perform as I think she has a brilliant voice, and having chatted to her earlier in the year when she was in Cats, I think she is absolutely lovely. Her show was a brilliant collection of some of her favourite songs from her career. She then also performed with Natalie Paris and was accompanied by James Taylor.


James is a musical director who has recently worked on the Cats movie, and also taught my ex Marc at Urdang.

Emma and Natalie sang What About Love from The Color Purple together which was brilliant.



It was a great evening and it was nice to see Emma’s agent Bobbi who I almost always see at everything all her clients do. Andrew Tomlins from West End Frame was also in the audience having had Emma on her show recently.

On Friday evening, I dragged Marc along to the ‪Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, to watch Sleepless.



The musical adaptation of the movie Sleepless in Seattle the film from 1993 starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

Written by Michael Burdette. Robert Scott and Brendan Cull, it was originally planned to be released in 2017 at Theatre Royal Plymouth, starring Danny Mac and Carley Stenson, but was cancelled two months before it was due to open.

It has now been revived, although unusually it has been brought to the Troubadour theatre for only three performances which they are calling “previews” it will then come back next March for a full run.



It is now currently starring Michael D. Xavier and Kimberly Walsh although it is not confirmed whether they will both return in March. It has been directed by Morgan Young who directed Kimberley recently in Big, another musical adaptation of a Tom Hanks film.

The music in both is very similar, and I’ll be honest not brilliant, and like Big, trying to develop a dated movie which really is hugely outdated in to a modern musical really just doesn’t translate. The stories aren’t plausible and the music styles in both don’t marry up well with the settings of these films.



Sleepless was presented as a very stripped back presentation in regards to staging, with basic set pieces, although a huge orchestra. The ensemble were used to populate the sparse stage. The cast consisted of Jobe Hart. Soo Drouet. Gay Soper. Alex Fobbester. Dylan Turner. Vicki Davids. Michael Carolan. Jobe Hart. Charlie Bull. Charlotte Gale. Matt Holland. Joanna Rennie. Tyler Smith. Annette Yeo.


The Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is a new theatre that was open last year on the site of the former Fountain Studios, which homed TV shows such as the X Factor for many years. As a theatre space, I admit it felt cold and stalk, with arena like seating banks and housed within what feels like a warehouse or TV studio it lacks any charm.


On Saturday my friend Zara was visiting for the weekend from Cornwall, and wanted me to take her to see a show. I knew exactly which, and took her to see & Juliet.



Since seeing it last month, I could not stop listening to the soundtrack and was dying to go back and see this show again, and to be delight understudies Ivan De Freitas ‬‪and Grace Mouat ‪were on as William Shakespeare and Juliet.



As much as I adore Miriam Teak Lee and Oliver Tompsett, I was excited to see how Grace and Ivan played the roles. My friend also managed to kindly upgrade my ticket, which meant we watched it from the stalls rather than the upper circle. Although, I will be honest the rake meant that it was actually harder to see in the stalls, although the video screen at the back of the stage is better viewed from the lower tiers.



We grabbed a bottle of prosecco and settled into our seats, I was a little apprehensive because I had built the show up so much, that I worried Zara might not actually like it as much, or that it might not actually be as good as I remembered. But it was still as brilliant, and in fact seeing it a second time, I got so much more from it, and picked up on a lot of things that I didn’t notice the first time. Zara loved it too.



Ivan and Grace also did a brilliant job, and completed reinterpreted the characters playing them very differently to Miriam and Oliver. Grace is a brilliant actress and really made Juliet her own, and Ivan is superb. It was a pleasure to watch them both and I really enjoyed seeing them.



This honestly is a brilliant show and one of the best new musicals, in my opinion. It frustrated me that Andrew Lloyd Webber made a scathing comment condemning juke box musicals, which I felt was incredibly unfair. If anything the ability to cohesively thread existing songs into a narrative is genius.



Having been nominated for a record thirteen Whats On Stage Awards, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who thinks so. It was good to see the show was practically sold out the evening I went, and I just hope it continues to do well.

On Sunday, I helped my friend Maddie at her first princess party. Dressed as Elsa, Maddie has set up her own company Ever Enchanted Celebrations. Having worked for an agency for several months, and worked at Disneyland before that, Maddie has really honed the skill of portraying a princess and entertaining children. She boldly took the plunge to set up her own business, bought her own dresses and has invested a lot of time and work into building a profile. This was the first booking she has taken, and I went along to assist. I was really proud and really impressed by how natural Maddie was, and how professional, she really knew what she was doing and presented a really organised, and fun afternoon for the children, who all seemed completely delighted by the experience.



If you are looking for a princess to entertain your guests, Maddie also provides the same party but for adults, if you are planning a special occasion, birthday or hen party, then do check out her website:

www.everenchantedcelebrations.com


After this I raced across to The Other Palace where This Christmas the concert had already begun.



Put together by Alex Parker. The performers included Fra Fee. Emma Lindars. Evie Rose Lane. Christina Bennington. T’shan Williams. Oliver Savile. And Max Harwood. And the band included Will Hillman. Dave Hornberger. Eleanor Tinlin. Alex Holman. Pete Hutchinson. And Matt Senior.



This was a really brilliant concert. Alex Parker is very well connected and very highly regarded because to be fair he is brilliant. He always manages to bring together the best performers from across the industry, and during the evening introduced each act with anecdotes and banter.



The arrangements were brilliant, with Evie Rose Lane arranging some of the songs herself too. It really set this concert apart from other Christmas concerts, as it was so refreshing to hear new arrangements of, let’s face it, some tired old carols. There were also a few surprises thrown in for good measure including a stunning rendition of ‘Into the Unknown’ from Frozen 2, with Christina Bennington beautiful taking the high part.



Emma Lindars, T’Shan Williams and Evie all sounded stunning too, delighting the audience with their beautiful voices.



Fra Fee and Oliver Savile looked as dapper as always and and sounded gorgeous, but it was Max Harwood who was the star of the show, delivering incredible stage presence as he owned his performances. It’s hard to imagine he is a relative new comer to this, having only left drama school this year.



After the show I ran around chatting to everyone, and it was lovely also to see Jack Maple and Brian Zeilinger from Take Two Theatricals. I also caught up with T’shan’s boyfriend Rikki, who I had met earlier in the year when he play Iago in Othello at the Union Theatre.



Straight after this I went to the Trafalgar Studios for Cinderella, the brilliant all drag adult Pantones produced by Tuckshop.



The brain child of producer Christoper D Clegg, who this year has returned to form spectacularly aligning himself with some of the best drag queens in London. Establishing Tuckshop as an entertainment company specialising in producing, merchandising and artist representation, Chris is putting his years of experience in theatre and design to great work with his creative flair knowing no limits.



Slotting in around the Trafalgar Studio’s main show A Taste of Honey, Cinderella is running two shows every Sunday for five weeks, the first of these sold out in record time.



It’s testament to the success in part of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and it’s UK version that was shown on BBC this year. The runner up from that show Baga Chipz plays the wicked step mother along side Verokica Green and Ophelia Love as step sisters. Shelia Simmons plays the Fairy Godmother. Holly Stars plays Buttons, and drag king Kemah Bob plays the the prince. With drag queen Baby playing the titular role of Cinderella and Poppy Louise Cooper and Kathleen Nance in the ensemble.



It’s fair to acknowledge that this panto was thrown together at incredible speed and with very little time. That’s not to diminish or undermine the work that has gone in to this, and the team have done brilliantly to bring about and mount an entire show in such rapid time after the initial idea was conceived. But it did leave the show a little rough around the edges. Which is fairness, the cast played on incredibly well. It is panto after all. Some missed cues and dropped lines allowed for hilarity and some brilliant ad libbing which you would expect and appreciate from a troupe of drag queens realising the opportunity to play to a huge West End audience.



Written by Jon Bradfield, who was brought in at last minute after original writer Stuart Saint left the project. Jon has written eleven of the adult panos at Above The Stag, and probably recycled a lot of those into Cinderella. Additional material is credited to Chris, and the whole company who probably made a lot of it up. Lawrence Bolton is also credited as a writer as well as director.



Like I say, it was put together very quickly which did mean the writing was a bit inconsistent, none the less it was very funny, and the audience certainly didn’t seem to mind. The show worked best when it tapped into the drag race social culture, delivering death drops, catch phrases and classic put downs synonymous with the programme.



All in all it was a very entertaining romp, which when it returns next year I am confident will be ever bigger and better. It’s a Christmas show that the West End needs and it is very welcome.



I caught up with Chris and the cast afterwards where they had generously put some money behind the bar for us all to enjoy.

On Tuesday I swung by SingEasy at the Piano Works West End where they were hosting a festive evening as part of #Giftmas with all proceeds raised donated to the Samaritans. I had a quick drink with Drew, the creative director and my fiend Lois who now runs their social media, and then went to watch Curtains.



Curtains is the musical written by Rupert Holmes, Fred Ebb and John Kander, based on the book by Peter Stone. Kander famously wrote the scores for Cabaret and Chicago.

Written in 2006, Curtains has been seen around the world. In 2012 the the show was produced at the Landor Theatre. This new production has been brought to the West End as part of a UK tour that began at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley in October, where Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba played Aaron Fox. Ore has now taken a hiatus from the show in order to star in a panto in Croydon. He will return to the show when it resumes it’s UK tour in 2020.



The musical is a satirical backstage murder mystery set in Boston in 1959 and is very very funny.

Jason Manford plays the detective and impressively delivers a star performance vocally and in his acting. Hollyoaks and musical theatre star Carley Stenson plays opposite Andy Coxon as husband and wife. In real life Carley is married to the gorgeous Danny Mac.

Heathers star Rebecca Lock is brilliant and almost unrecognisable in a red wig that actually really suits her, and



Alan Burkitt also stands out. But the entire show is stolen by the brilliant Samuel Holmes who creatively is also resident director of the show. He has some incredible lines which he delivers with brilliance. I first saw Samuel in a short lived production of Waterbabies at Leicester Curve, and in I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change as well as The Wedding Singer, Shrek and Mrs Henderson Presents. He is ridiculously charming and very handsome.



The rest of the cast is made up of Leah West.Cory English. Emma Caffrey. Adam Rhys-Charles. Martin Callaghan. Minal Petal. Mark Sangster. Kathryn Barnes. Pamela Blair. Charlie Johnson. Kate Ivory Jordan. Robin Kent. Thomas Lee-Kid. Ben Mundy. Gleanne Purcell-Brown. Samuel John-Humphreys. Nia Jermin and J.R. Ballantyne, and each are brilliant.



Adam Rhys-Charles trained at Arts Ed a few years before me, but we have some mutual friends, and he is adorable. He was also in Mrs Henderson Presents as well as Mary Poppins, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as well as Follies where he played young Ben.

The after party was at Planet Hollywood with mini burgers and wedges as canapés. I whizzed around chatting to people, and grabbed a few photos. It was lovey to see Ali Bastian who is pregnant with husband David’s child and looked radiant.



On Wednesday I was very kindly offered a free ticket to watch the matinee of The Book of Mormon and I couldn’t resist. I absolutely adore this show. Since opening in the West End in 2013, I have seen the show several times and had several friends appear in it.



It currently stars Tom Xander as Elder Cunningham who was offered the part permanently after starting as an understudy.

My old friend Steven Webb plays Elder McKinley and is brilliant. I absolutely adore Stevie. As soon as he found out that he had got the part, I knew this was a show he was made to be in. He has brilliant comic timing and a superb voice.



Sean Parkins is a legendary West End performer who was in Wicked for five years and Dreamgirls.

Other friends included Ross Carpenter. Luke George. Joesph Davenport and Adam Bailey. They have all been in numerous shows since I met them all whilst training.

There’s something really special about knowing people since they were in training and following their careers, it makes you really proud to see how well they have done. Each of them were brilliant, and clearly living their best lives in such a fantastic show.

The rest of the cast included Dom Simpson. Leanne Robinson. Richard Lloyd-King. Olly Christopher. Dean Maynard. Etisyai Philip. James Chishom. Myles Hart. Kirk Patterson. Sam Oladeinde. And Lewis Cornay who were all brilliant.

The show continues to sell out, and watching it again, I can see why. It’s perfectly crafted and genius. The music is brilliant and it is so funny.


After this, I went to meet my friends Sarah and Tina for a drink at the Pleasance theatre, they are two of my good friends, who I met at the Actors Centre when we all worked there. It was nice to catch up for a quick festive drink.

On Thursday afternoon, I went to watch the latest Star Wars movie. The ninth in the series, and the concluding part of the story. I grabbed myself a Baskin Robbins ice cream sundae and took my seat. The film was superb. Perfectly written and a brilliant conclusion to a fantastic series.

In the evening I went to watch West End Does: Christmas in Concert in Cadogan Hall.



West End Does, is a brilliant concert series that was started by Rob Houchen and is now run with his mum Anita.

They are always popular and this month’s festive edition was almost sold out. On each seat they put out Christmas hats for everyone to wear.



The show was hosted by Matt Lucas who introduced Fra Fee. Ricardo Afonso. Emma Kingston. Craig Mather. Louise Dearman. Laura Pitt-Pulford. Maiya Quansah-Breed. Emma Lindars. Each are incredible world class performers who sang a song each in each act. Between them they sang all the classic Christmas songs.



For some of the songs, they were joined by a troop of Urdang Academy Dancers: Erin Corfield. Nancy Harris. Lashay Harvey. Oliver Imeson. Isobel Knight. Deja Linton. Ishoy McCallum. Nicholas McMahon. Ashley Miles. Jasmine Tara. Choreographed by Philip Michael Thomas and Megan Curley as well as the Guildford School of Acting choir and the Stage box musical theatre choir.


I filmed a selection of the songs and uploaded them to my Youtube channel:


Fra Fee. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/hsaSKmGgbl4

Emma Kingston. Last Christmas.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/8h7Y3QAvp3Q

Craig Mather. Jingle Bells.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/8ytvoR87EPE

Ricardo Afonso. Louise Dearman. Fairy Tale of New York.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/b6fFidbHuQw

Laura Pitt-Pulford. Christmas Lullaby.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/4cFV30MAmnI

Maiya Quansah-Breed. Christmas Rock Medley.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/xNlH5_oxbDo

Emma Lindars. All I Want For Christmas Is You.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/pHJUpZmyTHs

Fra Fee. Merry Christmas Everyone.

📺 YouTube https://youtu.be/KNpxjxqqWZ4

It was a brilliantly festive evening in support of Mousetrap, and was the perfect final show of the year for me.

Throughout 2019, I have seen 370 shows, a staggering increase from last year where I saw 289.

It has honestly been an incredibly year, and if you read my Christmas message you will know I have a lot of people to thank, and honestly wouldn’t even know where to start to describe how brilliant this year has been, and how proud I am of That Stagey Blog.

I must thank everyone for reading them, for watching my videos and for engaging with me through social media. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and support.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to have access to as much theatre as I see, and the chance to meet some remarkable people, and I will never take that for granted.


Thank you. Everyone.

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That Stagey Blog

A THEATRE BLOG

BY PHILIP DEHANY

Est 2019

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