Tag Archives: Ziggie Sky Ward

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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An Evening with Chris Passey and Friends, Leicester Square Theatre

24 Jan

An Evening with Chris Passey and Friendswas presented by Carrie James Productions and Big World Theatre Company in aid of Cancer Research UK and the MS Society.

Chris Passey released his debut album “Self Taught, Still Learning” (Review) late last year and this was a great showcase of his music. He was joined by some very talented performers as well as the students of the Musical Theatre Academy.

There were no highlights for me, simply because I thought each and every performance was outstanding, so I decided to just go through the whole set list:

Sin That I Am In – Joseph Connor & Nathan Taylor. What a great way to start the evening. Both Joseph Connor and Nathan Taylor did a great job.

Ziggie Sky Ward

Getting Married Today – Ziggie Sky Ward. I know I’ve said it before, but with this performance Ziggie showed again just how talented she is. Amazing.

How Would They Feel – Chris Passey. My favourite song from the album, it sounds even better live.

Love Will Find a Way – Nadine Cox. Nadine Cox is simply phenomenal. Loved her performance, as well as the two Musical Theatre Academy students who supported her.

Lifeline – Amy Carroll. It’s such a beautiful song and Amy’s performance was very moving.

Stevie Webb

Three Tiny Words – Allyson Ava Brown. Another great performance, Allyson has a wonderful voice.

Room For Me – Stevie Webb. Great song and great performance by Stevie and the students of the MTA. It sounded amazing with the choir.

One Day More – Chris Passey. A lovely song by Georgia Stitt (aka Jason Robert Brown’s wife) and performance by Chris.

Kiss the Air – Joseph Connor. Joseph sounded great singing this Scott Alan song.

David Brewis

In My Arms – David Brewis. I’d never seen David in anything else before, but he completely blew me away with his performance. Another incredibly talented young performer to watch out for and what a way to finish the first half!

You Were Mine – Zoe Littleton, CiCi Howells, Kieran Kuypers & Anthony Matteo. The MTA has incredibly talented students! Great performance by all four of them.

If They Only Knew – Matthew Barrow. I like this song very much anyway, but Matthew’s performance took the song to a whole new level.

Matthew Barrow

Proud of Your Boy – Chris Passey. A lovely song from Disney’s Aladdin

Superman – Shona White. Great performance from Shona and the two supporting students from the MTA.

‘Till I Hear You Sing – David Brewis. I didn’t like Love Never Dies when I saw it, but there are undoubtedly some great songs in it. This one works so well out of context of the show and David’s performance was amazing.

Taylor the Latte Boy’s Response – Nathan Taylor. I love this song and Nathan’s comic timing was spot on.

Nadine Cox

Your Loving Arms – Stevie Webb. Chris Passey wrote this song especially for him. It’s a stunning ballad and Stevie was superb as always.

Being Alive – Danny Lane. I saw Danny sing this song at A Night For Jennifer and hearing him again just confirmed what an amazing voice he has.

Worthy – Carl Au.I loved his rendition of this stunning ballad, very emotional.

Take Me With You – Nadine Cox & Chris Passey. Great duet of a great song.

Blue Sky Thinking – Kayleigh Stephenson. Lovely way to end the evening, again with a more uptempo number. I really Kayleigh’s voice.

An Evening with Chris Passey and Friends really was an evening to remember. Great songs, amazing performances by everyone involved, lovely banter in-between songs and even a short (video) appearance from Miranda Sings – all for a good cause. Chris writes such beautiful and moving songs and seeing them performed in such a tiny space was wonderful.

If you haven’t bought “Self Taught, Still Learning” yet, you can get it from iTunes, Dress Circle or British Theatre, with all proceeds going to the MS Society and Cancer Research UK.

Divas Sing Scott Alan, Arts Theatre

14 Nov

Scott Alan

After the success of his previous concerts in London, Scott Alan returned for this one-night only concert. Due to popular demand a second concert was added for the evening. Scott was joined by Natalie Weiss, Cassie McIvor, Ashleigh Gray, Chloe Hart, Jodie Jacobs, Sarah Earnshaw and Daniel Boys.  There were also two unexpected special guests…

The concert started with Natalie Weiss singing “I Am a Star”. She’s got an amazing voice, what a great start to the evening.

Next was Ashleigh Gray with “West”. It’s one of my favourite songs by Scott Alan and Ashleigh is such a talented performer. Stunning!

Chloe Hart sang an amazing rendition of “Easy”

This was followed by another amazing performance: Cassie McIvor singing “I’m Not Ready Yet to Grieve”.

Jodie Jacobs came on stage to sing “Surrender”. This song really showed off her voice, loved it.

Sarah Earnshaw’s “Again” was lovely!

“Magic” was sung by Ashleigh Gray. Just perfect.

Natalie Weiss sang a great acoustic version of “Distance You Have Come”.

Then Scott Alan came on stage and sang “It’s Good to See You Again”. It always feel special to me somehow when I see composers perform their own material.

Sarah Earnshaw came back to sing “Watch Me Soar”. Another lovely song and her voice really did soar.

Then Natalie Weiss was joined by the Divo of the evening, Daniel Boys, to sing “Nothing More” Their voices sounded lovely together and it’s such a beautiful song too.

Daniel stayed on to sing “Kiss the Air”. A truly amazing performance! He’s got one of the best voices I’ve heard.

“Say Goodbye” was sung by Cassie McIvor again. What a voice!

For the next song, Scott invited 5 aspiring performers to the stage (randomly picked from the audience), who each sang a couple of lines from “Never Neverland” before one of them was chosen to sing the whole song. The winner, and deservedly so,  was Ziggie Sky Ward. No rehearsals, nothing, but she still nailed it. They couldn’t have chosen anyone better.

Next up were some songs from Scott’s new musical “Home”. The first was “My Life” sung by Scott himself. I liked it, especially the lyrics.

Jodie Jacobs and Natalie Weiss then sang “Home”. It’s such an uplifting song.

“And There It Is” was sung by Natalie Weiss again, followed by Chloe Hart’s “I Wish”. Beautiful songs and performances!

Ashleigh Gray then performed a new song from “Home”, “Getting High”. It was quite cheeky, but also very sad in parts.

The next song was another surprise. Stuart Matthew Price was in the audience and was asked by Scott to perform “Free” with Ashleigh Gray. I love the duet version of it and hearing it sung by such talented performers was wonderful.

The last song was sung by Scott again. He asked the audience what they wanted to hear and “Now” turned out to be the most popular. It was a great ending to the concert.

In-between songs there was the usual Scott Alan banter, including lots of swearing. Sometimes it just feels a bit too much for me (not the swearing, just in general), but it’s all part of the fun I guess. It definitely was a hugely enjoyable evening with stunning performances.

A Night For Jennifer, Lyric Theatre

1 Nov

A Night For Jennifer was a special gala concert in support of the Jennifer Charity. The Jennifer Charity was set up by James and Graham Edgington and supports widowed fathers and their children. You can find more about the charity here.

This one-off concert was produced by Chris Macklin and had a very impressive line-up, including some of the best performers in the West End as well as some up-and-coming talent.

I enjoyed the evening very much, though there were some performances I didn’t really like. But considering the diversity of them I think that was only natural.

Given the amount of talent involved in the concert I find it hard to single some of them out, but here we go.

I really enjoyed the Les Misérables songs, ‘On My Own’ (Sabrina Aloueche) and ‘A Heart Full of Love’ (Sabrina Aloueche, Gina Beck and Joseph Connor).

Joseph Connor

Joseph Connor’s ‘You and Me (But Mostly Me)’ from Book of Mormon was great. I’m a huge fan of the musical and loved seeing a song from it performed live (and so well!). Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of the second performer.

Hearing Rosalind James sing ‘Daddy’s Song’ (from Ragtime) again was wonderful. I loved it when it was on at the Landor. She has a unique voice.

I also liked Chloe Hart’s ‘Never Neverland’, the Bloomfield Avenue and Woman sections, Jeremy Legat’s ‘Could I Leave You’, Stephen Oliver-Webb and the Jennifer Choir.

Some performances completely stood-out for me though:

Chris Passey

The three songs from Chris Passey’s upcoming album. Chloe Hart’s ‘Worthy’ was incredible, as was ‘Self Taught, Still Learning’, which was sung by Nadine Cox  and the quartet (‘You Were Mine’) sung by Gina Beck, Jeremy Legat, Chloe Hart and Chris Passey himself. His songs are very melodic with beautiful lyrics. His album Self Taught, Still Learning is released on the 15th November and judging by those three songs it’s going to be a treat!

Steven Webb’s ‘How Do You Know ‘Til You Try Me’ from Betwixt. I’ve seen him in a couple of things in the past 12 months, but his stage presence never fails to amaze me. Wonderful performance.

Danny Lane

Being Alive was sung by Danny Lane. I thought his performance was breath taking. His voice just blew me away and he nailed that song (which is one of my favourite MT songs). Definitely one to watch out for!

I really liked the Jennifer Choir, but for me there were two performers who stood out and completely stole the Finale (Never Forget): Ziggie Sky Ward and Ben Vivian-Jones. Both have incredibly strong voices. Another two to watch out for in the future!

Special mention goes to James and Graham Edgington, without whom this concert would never have happened.

It was a very enjoyable evening, thanks to the hard work by everyone involved, so a big Thank You to them and I hope they managed to raise a lot of money for the Jennifer Charity!

Sunday in the Pub with… – MTA Fund-Raiser

28 Sep

Sunday in the Pub with… was a cabaret fund-raiser for and organised by two current students of the MTA, Lorin Jane Forster and Kieran Grant. The MTA (Musical Theatre Academy) is a unique institution which offers a 2 year fast track course in musical theatre. However, as they are a very new institution, the students at the MTA are not eligible for grants or student loans and have to fund the whole training themselves. Therefore those two students came up with the idea of this cabaret. It seemed to me that they did not expect so many people to turn up, because the venue was very crowded (and incredibly hot!), but the excellent performances on stage more than made up for that.

There was a mix of current and recently graduated students as well as some special guests. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening, but there were some songs/performers that stood out for me.

I Want A Man sung by Lorin Jane Forster and Sophie O’Shea. I love this song by Michael Bruce and they did a great job with it.

Touch of Love is a song from Dougal Irvine’s musical In Touch (which will get its first full-length performance at the MTA – exciting!) and is also on Stuart Matthew Price’s album All Things In Time. Fantastic song and performance by both Dougal Irvine and Stuart Matthew Price.

CiCi Howells sang Tim Prottey-Jones’s song Rain On Me. This was another highlight for me. I loved her voice!

In Short from Edges never fails to make me laugh and Aaron Lee Lambert (who is currently in Shrek) had the audience in stitches.

Next up were some songs from Dougal Irvine’s musical Departure Lounge. First, Robbie Durham and Kieran Grant sang Do You Know What I Think Of You? and then Steven Webb, Jack Shalloo and Stuart Matthew Price (all Departure Lounge alumni) joined Dougal Irvine on stage for the other four songs. I really enjoyed hearing them sing the songs again. Steven Webb sang Sophie and he was superb and then they all sang Why Do We Say Gay and Left Spain. My favourite however was Jack Shalloo’s Picture Book, because it was the best I have ever heard him sing it.

From Up Here was sung by all the MTA students and I really enjoyed it. Their voices blended so well and it’s a lovely song.

Tir Nan Og is another song from In Touch and I can only agree with Ziggie Sky Ward (who was great), I also fell in love with it when I first heard it.

Lorin Jane Forster sang Laurence Mark Whythe’s David’s House. I heard that song sung by someone who has already played a leading part in the West End only a couple of weeks ago, but I prefered Lorin’s version by miles. Not only does Lorin have a stunning voice, but she also acted the song. Probably my favourite performance of the evening!

Jack Shalloo came back on stage to sing a song from his album London Soul. She Takes Care Of Me is a very catchy song and I liked it a lot.

I have heard Stuart Matthew Price sing Road To Heaven before, but it is such a beautiful song that it is always a treat to hear it again.

For the last song of the evening all the MTA students came on stage again to sing Sunday from Sunday in the Park with George. It was the perfect ending for the evening and a great reminder of just how much talent had been on that stage in the past three hours.

I hope Lorin Jane Forster and Kieran Grant managed to raise lots of money and I wish them (and the other students at the MTA) the best of luck for the future. They did a wonderful job in putting that evening together and I am glad I managed to go.

Now I am looking forward to seeing some of the recent MTA graduates in the UK premiere of Nevermore in a couple of weeks…