Friday, 10 October 2014

Review | KERRY ELLIS IN CONCERT (UK Tour) October 2014

One of the most celebrated ladies of the West End - Kerry Ellis has a had a pretty busy schedule... Not only has she become a mother but released an album, sold out the London Palladium, performed with Kristin Chenoweth at the Royal Albert Hall, played in Tell Me On A Sunday, returned to Wicked in the role of Elphaba once more and is now touring the UK with a more personal, intimate tour of the Palladium show. 

What is always obvious with Kerry is that she is very much for her fans, this particular album was made with contributions from Kerry's dedicated fan base and the tour is quite obviously Kerry's thank-you. The whole evening was very personal, between songs Kerry's journey through musical theatre is mapped out in a series of humorous recollections and her natural charm warms the audience from the beginning. 

And impressive James Bond medley to kick off the show is met with rapturous applause and soon after an impressive rendition of I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady - the show that began Kerry's West End career, second-understudying for Martine McCutcheon. 

There are multiple highlights, the first being an invitation for a nervous fan, Vicky, to join Kerry on stage for a duet of I Know Him So Well, a result of pledging towards the album. Holding hands Kerry's support got her through the song and the moment was beautiful. The close of the first half was an excellent, powerful performance of Take That Look Off Your Face, which saw the welcome return of Kerry's belting vocals. 

Joining Kerry for a one-off special duet in the second half was the excellent Rhydian Roberts. Together they sang As Long As You're Mine from Wicked, to which Rhydian concluded, "Kerry Ellis, the definitive Elphaba". Whilst singing songs from Wicked, an alternative, beautifully stripped back version of Defying Gravity was a treat. 

Not only musical theatre but there were current hits too, perhaps unexpected Katy Perry, Lady GaGa and Ed Sheeran's Give Me Love made it in and reassured Kerry's versatility. 

To conclude the concert, accompanying Kerry for Give Me Love were students from the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama (MADD College). Under the supervision of Steve Pritchett, the immensely talented, well presented group of 30 2nd and 3rd year students produced the most incredible choral sound. MADD also provided backing for the show's breathtaking climax - Frozen's Let It Go. What's great about Kerry is her inclusiveness and the opportunity for this Nottingham based college to perform alongside her is undoubtably just the beginning of many successful careers. 

Musical direction, piano and arrangements by Craig Adams are sublime, a medley of songs from Oliver! was a pleasant surprise.  Caroline Deverill and Laura Selwood provide beautiful backing vocals. The band, Aaron Williams, Nick Walsh and Matt Senior are also excellent.

Kerry Ellis remains one of theatre's all-time secret-weapons. This tour is a perfect demonstration of varied styles and Kerry's versatility. Certainly there is something for all audience members to enjoy.  The perfect, intimate live experience.

For more information, tour dates and news, visit Kerry's website

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more! Saw the show on Monday in Hereford as well as Birmingham. Kerry never fails to send shivers down my spine- beautiful voice and so lovely to meet x