Tag Archives: Gareth Gates

REVIEW: Mad About the Musicals – Town House, Hamilton

A mixture of musical theatre favourites and some lesser known and forgotten gems, teamed with a top-notch live band and a host of talented performers, elevates Mad About The Musicals to the premier league of musical theatre concerts.

Starring theatre veteran Michael Courtney and special star guest Gareth Gates, it begins with some surprising choices from Copacabana, City of Angels and recent Broadway flop Dr Zhivago, leaving the audience impressed with the vocals but slightly unsettled that this may be the theme for the evening. Thankfully, any misgivings are soon dispelled and the initially subdued audience come alive when we get to more familiar territory. A selection of songs from Miss Saigon, in particular, Bui Doi, is met with rousing applause and a medley of Queen favourites from We Will Rock You (deftly played by the band) sends the audience into the interval with a spring in its step.

The second act is built on more solid foundations; opening on a trio of favourites from Phantom of the Opera, the hits just keep coming: Courtney delivers a spine-tingling The Music of the Night and Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar and Gates unexpectedly impresses in both All I Ask of You and Heaven on Their Minds.

The whole evening is held together with good-humoured banter and complemented with an attractive set and lighting. This is a well thought out, at times unexpected, but thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

REVIEW: Les Miserables – Queen’s Theatre, London

Les Misérables is the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s great humanitarian novel of one man’s determined survival in the face of another’s vengeful persecution.  Set amid the social and political struggles of 19th century France, Les Misérables tells the story of former prisoner Jean Valjean, who is pursued for decades by his policeman nemesis, Javert.

The dramatic score includes numbers such as On My Own, One More Day, Bring Him Home and Do You Hear The People Sing?

Les Misérables is currently celebrating its 26th year in London, making it the world’s longest-running musical. The show first opened at the Barbican in 1985 before transferring to the Palace later that year, where it remained for nearly 20 years.  It opened in its present home, The Queen’s, in 2004. The show is now one of the world’s best-loved musicals and has been produced in 38 countries and translated into 21 different languages.

The current cast includes;

Simon Bowman – Jean Valjean

Norm Lewis – Javert

Gareth Gates – Marius

Katy Secombe – Madame Thenardier

Lucie Jones – Cosette

Rebecca Seale – Fantine

Martin Ball – Thenardier

Samantha Barks – Eponine

Gates, Barks and Jones are all veterans of various reality TV shows – Barks in ‘I’d do Anything’ – the search for a ‘Nancy’ in Oliver, where she came third, Jones in 2009’s X-Factor, where she lasted until week 5 where she was ousted by ‘Jedward’ and Gates from the original Pop Idol in 2002, where he was runner up to Will Young.

Simon Bowman, by contrast is a seasoned West End leading man and his talent, magnetism and professionalism as Jean Valjean shone through and Broadway veteran Norm Lewis was a strong Javert. Gareth Gates on the other hand suffered because of the strength of the rest of the cast as did Rebecca Seale, who had to deliver one of the shows most iconic tunes I Dreamed a Dream both suffered from somewhat thin voices.

Les Mis is one show that lives up to all the hype thrown at it. This is as wonderful as everyone says it is, there is a reason it’s been running for 26 years, If you haven’t seen it I urge you to go. It’ll restore your faith in human kind!

Dress Circle - The Greatest Showbiz Shop In The World

Les Miserables Official London Merchandise