Tag Archives: Katie Bernstein

Goodbye Barcelona, Arcola Theatre

14 Dec

Goodbye Barcelona is a new musical by Judith Johnson and K. S. Lewkowicz set in the Spanish Civil War. It follows the story of Sammy, an 18-year old Jewish boy from London, who decides to join the International Brigades to fight against Franco and the fascists. In Spain he falls in love with with Pilar, who has lost both her parents in the war and now has to look after her sister. His mother Rebecca misses him so much that she decides to join up too to find him in Spain. Working as a nurse, she falls in love with the anarchist Ernesto, who decides to help her find Sammy. Meanwhile Sammy, Jack, George and the rest of the International Brigaders prepare for the last decisive battle…

Katie Bernstein & Tom Gill

Tom Gill is excellent as the naive and ideallistic Sammy, his acting is very intense. Lucy Bradshaw gives a very moving and heartfelt performance as his mother Rebecca. Katie Bernstein (Pilar) has a great voice, another first class performance. John Killoran‘s performance as Ernesto is incredibly moving. Jack Shalloo as George, the leader of their unit, has a very distinctive voice that stands out from the others. It’s nice to see him in a completely different role for a change and he definitely doesn’t disappoint. Mark Meadows is equally great as the bitter, disillusioned and cynical Jack, the oldest and most experienced

Laura Tebbutt

member of their unit. His You’ll Learn was great. Laura Tebbutt shows her amazing voice as La Pasionaria and also plays Ernesto’s sister Maria.

Goodbye Barcelona has a very strong score, I couldn’t name a single song that I did not like. The rousing ensemble numbers sounded amazing. I especially liked the way they incorporated the Internationale into it and then reprised it later with different lyrics. Speaking of the lyrics, I thought they were very moving and heartfelt. The story itself is quite predictable, but despite of this I found the ending very hard to watch.

It’s a story of courage, love, passion and war, brought to life by an excellent cast. I found it completely gripping and really hope that his production is not the last that will be seen of this musical.

Goodbye Barcelona runs until the 23rd December at the Arcola Theatre. Tickets can be booked online.


Dougal Irvine’s ‘Acoustic Overtures’ Launch, Battersea Barge

30 Oct

Dougal Irvine is probably best known as the composer of the award-winning musical “Departure Lounge” that ran at the Waterloo East Theatre last year. On the 1st November he is going to release his debut album “Acoustic Overtures” on SimG Records.

Unfortunately some of the original performers couldn’t be there (apparently they are all in Colorado…), but it was a simply amazing afternoon and was a treat to hear all of the songs sung live.

The first song was “Mr Musical”, sung by the amazing Katie Bernstein. It’s a great song full of musical references. I’m still trying to work out how many exactly. Great fun and performance by Katie.

Next up was “Clean Cut Rapper”, sung by Dougal himself with Sarah Lark and Sarah Earnshaw as backing singers. Again, it’s a fun song and I think his sense of humour is brilliant.

The third song “Two Faces” was the total opposite of the first two. It’s a very moving and beautiful song, I fell in love with it when I heard Ashleigh Gray sing it back in April. This time it was sung by Sarah Earnshaw, who was incredible as well.

“Silence and the Rain” was sung by Dougal Irvine and Cassie McIvor. It’s another stunning song, probably one of my favourites.

Then Dougal sang “The Morning After You Do It”. It’s a very rocky song, loved it.

Katie Bernstein came back on stage to sing “Megan’s Hero”. It’s a lovely and quite fun song, loved her performance.

Next was “Tir Nan Og”, sung by Annalene Beechey and Dougal Irvine. I simply love Annalene’s voice, ever since I’ve heard both of them sing exactly this song at the Perfect Pitch Fundraiser last year. Hearing it again was just amazing and I still think that hers is the ultimate interpretation of this song.

The next song is not part of “Acoustic Overtures”. It was “Do You Know What I Think of You” from Departure Lounge, but with different lyrics and sung by Steven Webb and Dougal Irvine. It just was incredibly funny and one of the highlights for me.

Steven Webb then sang “Simple”. It’s such a beautiful song and suited Steven’s voice perfectly. Stunning.

Dougal then sang “Do You Want a Baby Baby”. Again a very funny song and I enjoyed hearing Dougal singing it himself.

The next song is not part of “Acoustic Overtures” either, “Values”. It’s a lovely song.

“Mermaids” was sung by Annalene Beechey and Sarah Lark. It was stunning, their voices sounded amazing and it’s a hauntingly beautiful song.

Sarah Earnshaw, Sarah Lark, Dougal Irvine and Peter White then sang “We Need Love”. For me, Sarah Earnshaw’s voice stood out in this song, but it’s another brilliant song.

The last song was “Song For Friends”, sung by Dougal again. It was the perfect ending for a wonderful Sunday afternoon.

Dougal Irvine is an incredibly versatile and talented composer and this album is an absolute treat with some of the best performers in the West End . I’ve listened to it as soon as I got home and it sounds wonderful. It’s a great mix of songs and well worth buying. You can buy it British Theatre  and iTunes from Tuesday.