Stuart Matthew Price: All Things In Time – Barn Theatre, Oxted

22 Jun

Stuart Matthew Price is another great contemporary composer and performer and can be currently seen in the West End production of Shrek, where he plays one of the three little pigs. He also created the part of the Young Soldier/Frankie Epps in Parade (Donmar Warehouse), played Riff Raff  in The Rocky Horror Show (German Tour), Jordan in Departure Lounge (Edinburgh Fringe), Beyond The Gate and took part in several concerts.

He released his debut album All Things In Time last year and it’s amazing. It is a fantastic collection of new songs by both British and American songwriters and he’s not only got a stunning voice, but the emotion he displays in it is incredible. A definite must-have for any theatre fan!

I’ve been lucky enough to see Stuart Matthew Price in some other concerts these past few months, so my expectation were very high, but he just seems to get better and better.

This time he had a bigger orchestra instead of just a piano for accompaniment, which sounded great: Bob Broad (Keys 1/MD), Scott Alder (Keys 2/MD), Annmarie McDade (Violin), Lauren Steel (Cello), Charlie Laffer (Guitar) and Ida Hollis (Bass).

He opened the concert with The Old Red Hills Of Home from Jason Robert Brown’s Parade, which is also the first song on his album. It’s a great song (and musical) and hearing/seeing Stuart perform it live is always a treat.

Up next was Sonnet XXIX, which was written by “Jason Robert Brown’s wife” aka Georgia Stitt. I probably wouldn’t find it that funny (or funny it all) if I hadn’t seen her tweet this when I came home:

So he’s not the only one who doesn’t mention her by name. Lovely song and rendition!

Then his guest for the evening, Ashleigh Gray, came on stage to sing Wizard And I. I never saw her in Wicked, but I couldn’t agree more with Stuart: She’s simply incredible and has got one of the best voices I’ve ever heard.

Stuart then sang a shortened version of Being Alive from Company. I keep repeating myself, but it was amazing. Wonderful vocals and acting!

Next was one of Stuart’s own songs, Autumn Days from his musical The Diary of Me. It’s a lovely and very moving song. It’s one of my favourites on his album, so I had hoped he’d sing it again, and it sounded great.

Run Away With Me is another great song and Stuart did it more than justice!

Ashleigh Gray came back on stage to sing Free with Stuart. Such a lovely song, especially when sung by two so stupidly talented people.

The last song of the first half was Grateful. I can’t (and don’t want to) imagine anyone else singing that song anymore! It probably wasn’t his strongest performance of that song, but even when he is not 100 % he’s still pretty damn good (and better than most others).

The first song of the second half was another of Stuart’s own songs, Where I Want To Be. It’s a very catchy song, loved it!

Wishing For The Normal has been one of my favourite songs since I’ve heard it on the A Spoonful of Stiles & Drew album and I’d always hoped he’d sing it at his other cabarets. Finally, he did. It’s such a nice song and they were great.

He then sang the title track from his album, All Things In Time. It’s another incredibly beautiful song by Jason Robert Brown.

His Bring Him Home was stunning. I really hope he gets to play the part at some point, fortunately the musical doesn’t seem to go anywhere in the foreseeable future.

He then sang Last Night Of The World with Ashleigh Gray. This was probably my favourite song of the evening. It’s a wonderful song anyway, but hearing and watching those two sing it… Just wow!

The last song was Road To Heaven. I love the lyrics of this song and it sounded great with the bigger orchestra.

As an encore we were treated to Gethsemane. Is there any song this guy can’t sing?!? It was wonderful and he definitely deserved that standing ovation afterwards! I’ve never seen Jesus Christ Superstar on stage and only know it from the two film versions and the London Revival Cast Recording with Steve Balsamo. Until tonight, this had song never really moved me, but I found it almost painful to watch Stuart singing it because his acting was so intense.

That’s one of the things that I like so much about his concerts: He doesn’t just sing the songs beautifully, but he really acts them and takes you on a journey.

Another thing that makes his concerts so special are his introductions to the songs, which are hilarious, and sometimes rather long. The record is probably still held by his cabaret at the Landor Theatre, which lasted three hours because he was talking that much (I’m not complaining by the way, it didn’t feel long at all!). So among the random things we’ve learned tonight were that he apparently wants a dog, men hate shaving and would all wear long beards if they could, it took the British to make Shrek work, he feels like a little Jesus guy in Oxted while outside of the Barn he’s a little pig, it’s not easy to play the piano with pointed shoes and “Susan Boyle – The Musical” is like saying “My Right Foot – The Musical”.

All in all, a great evening with some great music and incredibly talented people! I’m looking forward to more concerts in the hopefully not too distant future!

And if you haven’t got Stuart’s album already, you can (and should) buy it at Dress Circle, because “you can’t sign a download”!

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