Tag Archives: Shaun McCourt

Giggin4Good, Actor’s Church

6 Feb

After last year’s very successful Giggin4Good summer showcase, the second Giggin4Good showcase took place on Sunday in the Actor’s Church in Covent Garden, again with a cast of both established and up-and-coming performers. I think the Actor’s Church is the perfect location for concerts and those of us who braved the weather were in for a wonderful evening, all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Ziggie Sky Ward set the bar very high with her beautiful rendition of Lance Horne’s “Last Day on Earth”. David Brewis’ “Till I Hear You Sing” from Love Never Dies was very impressive and I loved his duet with Joseph Connor (“For Good” from Wicked). Joseph also sang “If I Didn’t Believe in You” from The Last Five Years.

Shaun McCourt

One of the highlights of the evening for me was Shaun McCourt, who sang “Last One Picked” from the musical Whoop-Dee-Do! and “Younger Than Springtime” from South Pacific. In the first song he got to show his excellent comic timing, while the second song highlighted his beautiful voice. He is currently understudying the part of Joseph in the UK tour and I would love to see him play it. A name to remember!

Another highlight was, of course, Rebecca Caine. Her “Somebody, Somewhere” from Happy Fella was simply stunning, as was her Follies duet with Rosie Clarkson. Their voices sounded sublime together.

There were some other great duets from Victoria Hamilton Barritt & Nathan Amzi and Twinnielee Moore & Max Milner. Victoria Hamilton Barritt also sang an amazing “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. I loved Alexia Khadime‘s “Easy as Life” from Aida, it just suited her voice perfectly. Annabel Lloyd‘s Neverland (Scott Alan) was just lovely and so was Rosa O’Reilly‘s “Astonishing” from Little Women.

Sabrina Aloueche

Ross Hunter has an incredible voice and his “Memphis Lives in Me” was superb, as was his duet with Sabrina Aloueche (“High Enough”/Rock of Ages), who also sang a breath-taking “The Honour of His Name”. His fellow Legally Blonde cast member Lincoln Stone sang a wonderful “Honesty”, but his “Anthem” from Chess was even better and a wonderful way to finish the evening.

There were also a couple of songs from two new musicals: My Land’s Shore, written Robert Gould and Christopher Orton, and Roundabout, written by Joe Sterling and Robert Gould.

The music from My Land’s Shore completely blew me away. I especially loved “I Know I Love Him”, which was sung by Kelly-Anne Gower, Sarah Lark and Laura Selwood and of course the rousing “My Land’s Shore/Finale” sung by Jonathan Williams and Kelly-Anne Gower, Sarah Lark, Laura Selwood, Christopher Orton, Gareth Richards, Alexis James and Joe Sterling. The cast recording has just been released and I’d urge you all to buy it. It’s a truly exciting new musical with a compelling story. More info can be found HERE.

The two songs from Roundabout, “Those Eyes”, which was sung by Joe Sterling, and “What We Are Here For”, which was sung by Christopher Orton were lovely too and I can’t wait to hear more about it.

I enjoyed Giggin4Good very much, so a big thank you needs to go to the organisers who put on such a superb concert and I hope they managed to raise a lot of money for GOSH. I’m already looking forward to the next one (whenever that may be).

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Joseph, UK Tour, Churchill Theatre Bromley

4 Oct

This wasn’t my first time seeing the musical or the tour, but the first time with this cast. As much as I love more serious musicals, Joseph never fails to cheer me up. It’s incredibly cheesy, but has such catchy songs and is simply a bit of light-hearted fun.

Before I say anything about the cast, I have to say that this production is very tacky and cheap-looking. The inflatable sheep didn’t even want to stand up properly tonight, the “golden chariot” is ridiculous (and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to find it funny?!), as are Jacob’s children at the beginning of Jacob & Sons and some of the costumes. I know I shouldn’t compare it to the most recent West End production, but it was just a bit more subtle, especially with the costumes. I really don’t think it needs the cowboy hats, the Eiffel Tower background or the “tropical bird jackets”, but that’s just personal preference. However, I couldn’t help noticing that also some of the songs seemed to be a lot slower and therefore some of them dragged a bit and weren’t as funny as they could have been. That was most noticeable during Those Canaan Days for me.

Keith Jack, who lost out to Lee Mead in Any Dream Will Do and became 2nd a couple of years ago, finally gets to play the part on tour now. I didn’t really pay too much attention to Any Dream Will Do back then, but I remember that I thought that he had quite a good voice. Tonight, however, I was very disappointed. For once, his acting was very wooden and his facial expression in Close Every Door can probably best be compared to the one of a 5-year-old who has just dropped his ice-cream. But his diction was a bit odd as well, though I can’t really put my finger on it. It just didn’t sound very natural. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with this, but his singing was rather on the weak side too, and I found it quite difficult to hear him when the ensemble joined in. That wasn’t helped by the fact that he just had no stage presence whatsoever. I know it sounds very harsh, but I’m sure that every other person on that stage (the girls included!) could have given a stronger, more rounded portrayal.

Now to the positive things: Jennifer Potts was fabulous as the Narrator. She has a great voice and I loved her acting. For me, she was the true star of the show!

I don’t think Henry Metcalfe will ever leave this production, but he’s a good Jacob. I like the way he wraps Benjamin in his coat during Any Dream Will Do (Reprise), it’s just a lovely touch.

Adam Jarrell seemed to have a lot of fun as the Pharaoh and I liked  Song of the King.

The last time I saw it, the ensemble was a bit all over the place (different cast), but tonight they worked very well together and I just love all the Brothers’ songs. I found that Shaun McCourt, especially, had great stage presence, and Kevin Grogan as Benjamin was very good, too (though I always find it a bit weird that he just lies down and goes to sleep at the end of Benjamin Calypso?! But that’s down to the direction obviously…).

The girls don’t really have much stage time, but they made the most of it and were great in every scene.

All in all, I had an enjoyable evening, but that was entirely down to the musical itself and a very strong supporting cast. Having seen some previous Joseph understudies (who, incidentally, all turned out to be better than the principal), I’d quite like to see the present understudy, Shaun McCourt, in the part. Hopefully I will manage to do that when/if the tour returns to the London area.