West End leading lady Kerry Ellis is in Glasgow for one night only with her solo cabaret show in the very intimate surroundings of Wild Cabaret at the Wicked Lounge.
Ellis delivers a cycle of songs that she has largely been regurgitating over the last five years, most from her own stage career with some personal pop favourites peppered throughout. There’s also the obligatory audience participation on For Good, though to everyone’s amusement, rather than duetting with one lucky viewer, the tiny stage is packed with most of the audience passing the mic.
In an attempt at originality, many of the musical theatre and pop standards have been ‘treated’ to new arrangements, which, rather than give them a new lease of life, renders virtually every song the same: Sondheim, the Sherman Brothers, Boublil and Schonberg generally got it right first time. Ellis needs to take a leaf out of Josh Groban, Jeremy Jordan and theatre diva Bernadette Peters’ book and provide a richer programme – if you’re going to mess with the best, then it really has to be different.
Ellis has a decent set of pipes, of that there is no doubt, she’s also personable enough, but the evening as a whole is a little lacklustre and has the feeling that the spiel is well-rehearsed rather than a spontaneous reaction to the city and the crowd, there’s also a complete lack of eye contact, whilst fine when singing, is a little odd given the minuscule nature of the venue.
Ellis-lovers will absolutely love it, the tiny venue was packed to the rafters and buzzing throughout, however, those who are a little more discerning might be disappointed.