Tag Archives: Kerry Ellis

NEWS: The world’s most successful musical theatre group hit Glasgow this month.

Collabro will be back on the road next month for their biggest ever tour and have announced some very special guests joining them across the UK.  West End and Broadway Star Kerry Ellis and BBC1’s Over the Rainbow Finalist and We Will Rock You Star Lauren Samuels will be joining the boys on selected dates.

Collabro, the world’s most successful musical theatre group, met in 2014 for their first rehearsal at a London pub, just a month later went on to rouse the whole of Hammersmith Apollo into a standing ovation during their first ever public performance of ‘Stars’ for the Britain’s Got Talent judges.

Since winning Britain’s Got Talent four years ago with one of the biggest majorities ever Collabro have released a Number 1 debut album “Stars”, followed by “Act Two” which peaked at Number 2, performed at the Royal Variety Performance; been voted ‘The Nation’s Favourite BGT Winner’ and are now enormously successful internationally. Notably, they have performed for over 30 million people in Japan on Music Station on two separate occasions – receiving a Gold Disc for Best International Artist alongside Sam Smith and Meghan Trainor. They have also completed two tours of America and signed a major US record deal.

2018 has already seen Collabro embark on a sold-out tour of Asia, performed as special guests on Barry Manilow’s UK Arena Tour and release their fourth studio album ‘Road To The Royal Albert Hall’ for more information go to Officialcollabro.com.

The musical theatre group’s ‘Road to the Royal Albert Hall’ Tour will be kicking off at South Shields Customs House on February 10th and will see the group perform at a variety of intimate theatres and iconic venues over three months, before finishing the tour at the world renowned Royal Albert Hall in London. Collabro will also have Youth Choirs to accompany them at each venue of their 51 date UK Tour alongside support Georgia and The Vintage Youth.

Tickets are on sale now and available from www.gigsandtours.com / 0844 811 0051, www.ticketmaster.co.uk / 0844 826 2826, and direct from venue box offices.

COLLABRO ‘ROAD TO THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL’ 2019 UK TOUR DATES

support from Georgia and The Vintage Youth (all dates except 14th and 15th Feb)

support from Larissa Eddie 14th, 15th Feb and 20th April only

Special guest Kerry Ellis will be performing at dates highlighted as *

Special guest Lauren Samuels will be performing at dates highlighted as +

*SCOTTISH DATES HIGHLIGHTED BELOW

February 2019

Sun 10 South Shields Customs House +

Mon 11 Chester Storyhouse *

Tue 12 Milton Keynes Theatre *

Thu 14 Carlisle Sands Centre +

Fri 15 Buxton Opera House *

Sat 16 Matinee – Leeds City Varieties Music Hall *

Sat 16 Evening – Leeds City Varieties Music Hall *

Mon 18 Scunthorpe Baths Hall *

Tue 19 Hull City Hall +

Thu 21 York Grand Opera House +

Fri 22 Crewe Lyceum Theatre +

Sat 23 Blackpool Opera House +

Mon 25 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall*

Tue 26 Aberdeen Music Hall*

Thu 28 Perth Concert Hall +

March 2019

Fri 01 Edinburgh Queens Hall*

Sat 02 Llandudno Venue Cymru Theatre*

Mon 04 Gateshead Sage 1*

Tue 05 Middlesbrough Town Hall*

Thu 07 Harrogate Royal Hall +

Fri 08 Halifax Victoria Theatre*

Sat 09 Sheffield City Hall +

Mon 11 Kings Lynn Corn Exchange*

Tue 12 Cheltenham Town Hall*

Thu 14 Barnstaple Queens Theatre*

Fri 15 Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse*

Sat 16 Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion +

Mon 18 Southend Cliffs Pavilion*

Tue 19 Cambridge Corn Exchange*

Thu 21 Stevenage Gordon Craig Theatre*

Fri 22 Guildford G Live*

Sat 23 Peterborough The Cresset*

Mon 25 Isle of Wight Shanklin Theatre +

Tue 26 Swindon Wyvern Theatre*

Thu 28 Torquay Princess Theatre

Fri 29 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall*

Sat 30 Lowestoft Marina Theatre*

 

April 2019

Mon 01 Tunbridge Wells Assembly Halls*

Tue 02 Ipswich Regent*

Thu 04 Reading Hexagon*

Fri 05 Cardiff St David’s Hall*

Sat 06 Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre +

Mon 08 Bath Forum*

Tue 09 Worthing Pavilion Theatre*

Thu 11 Salisbury City Hall*

Fri 12 Swansea The Grand Theatre +

Sat 13 Leicester De Montfort Hall*

Mon 15 Birmingham Symphony Hall*

Tue 16 Wolverhampton Grand Theatre*

Thu 18 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall*

Fri 19 Manchester Bridgewater Hall*

Sat 20 London Royal Albert Hall * +

REVIEW: Brian May & Kerry Ellis – Golden Days

Queen’s Brian May and musical theatre stalwart Kerry Ellis have forged a strong, if unexpected, musical partnership over the past few years.

In their newest collaboration the pair have delved into their live back catalogue, deliver their own versions of some well-known classics, as well as penning a series of original songs. The result is an eclectic mix of styles and genres, doubtless to appeal to their diverse fan base.

Track by Track:

Love In A Rainbow (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)

Billed as “retro-psychedelic”, it’s a gentle poppy ballad and low-key start to the album.

Roll With You (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)

Written to illustrate Ellis’ favourite sayings, attitudes and philosophies on life. Despite the classic rock guitar riff, it’s more a cheerful middle of the road high energy pop tune.

Golden Days (Brian May)

A lushly produced power ballad.

It’s Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song) (Brian May)

Very much in the same vein as the other recently-penned songs on the album, this is another middle of the road pop-rock number.

Amazing Grace (John Newton, Trad. Arr, Brian May)

Accompanied by May on acoustic guitar, this is a simple, but beautiful rendition of the traditional hymn.

One Voice (Ruth Moody)

This choir favourite has been given a fresh vocal arrangement.

If I Loved You (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)

One of the musical Carousel’s most-loved songs, Ellis delivers an ear-pleasing version, gentle and less strident than the musical theatre original.

Born Free (John Barry, Don Black)

Billed as a “rock re-arrangement” of the classic movie theme this is very richly produced, and includes a guitar solo with May sounding his most Queen-like.

Parisienne Walkways (Phil Lynott, Gary Moore)

Gary Moore’s signature guitar song is given a female vocal, but it is May’s superlative guitar skills that shine  through.

I Who Have Nothing (Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber, Mike

Stoller)

One of the world’s most covered songs. This is an odd, synth heavy, 80s-sounding Bond theme-imitating version with dated sound and production.

The Kissing Me Song (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)

Another 80s style pop-rock number.

Story Of A Heart (Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson)

Written by Abba’s world-famous song writing duo and originally the title track on The Benny Andersson Band’s compilation album, this sounds like late-era Abba after their glory days were over.

Can’t Help Falling In Love (Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George

David Weiss)

A nicely judged version of the much-loved and much-covered song.

The album is a pleasant offering that isn’t going to break any new ground or win a legion of new fans. Stylistically and in its production style it sounds of another era, somewhat over-produced and the song choices, considering the talent of the two individuals involved is ultimately uninspiring, but the diverse selection will undoubtedly keep the duo’s fan base happy.

Released on Sony Music the album is available to purchase/download now.

REVIEW: Kerry Ellis – Wild Cabaret, Glasgow

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.

REVIEW: Rent the 20th Anniversary Concert – Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

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Celebrating 20 years since it’s first staged performance, West End and Broadway leading lady Kerry Ellis stars with runner up of ITV’s Superstar Rory Taylor in this concert of the hit musical RENT.

Kerry Ellis and Rory Taylor performing in Rent 20th Anniversary
Set in the East Village of New York City, Jonathan Larson’s RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this musical has become a pop culture phenomenon with songs that resonates with audiences of all ages. Taking Giacomo Puccini’s La boheme as its inspiration, RENT follows a year in the life of a group of friends struggling to make it in the big city under the shadow of HIV and AIDS in the early 90’s.

Despite opening in the West End in 1998 and running for only 18 months, RENT is one of a band of musicals which has inspired a dedicated following down the years, all the most astonishing is the fact that it has achieved a mythical status among theatre fans whose  only exposure to the show is the 2005 film.

This concert version, which has been imaginatively designed to re-create some of the atmosphere of the original stage production affords  fans of the show the chance to finally experience the music live. Whilst never able to convey the emotion of  the  fully staged musical this production delivers on many levels.

Rent 20th Anniversary Concert at The Liverpool Echo Arena Audito

 

Primarily it is the casting that elevates this above your run of the mill re-hashes of musical classics. Standout amongst a fine ensemble cast is ITV Superstar runner up Rory Taylor as Roger. During that show Taylor got the chance to  showcase his vocal talents so it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise that he was so impressive. His range and tone were a true treat for the ears, he also delivered a  finely judged acting performance as the young musician and songwriter. The same cannot be said though for Kerry Ellis, her status among theatre fans having always been a mystery to me – every time I have seen her, her voice has either been seriously underpowered or she has been utterly  lifeless. Here she doesn’t fare well as Mimi the HIV positive erotic dancer – she looked as if she was dialling in her performance and there was much and very vocal muttering from the audience during the interval and at the end. We can only be thankful that due to a fine casting director we were spared seeing her in the show-stopping role of Maureen – the lesbian performance artist – here the role goes to scene-stealer Nickki Davis-Jones who gives a master class in how to fully inhabit a role. Eliciting some audience participatory moooos during her vivid performance art! Also deserving of praise is Iain Stroughair as the AIDS suffering, percussion playing, gay, drag queen Angel, when he is on stage it is impossible not to be mesmerised by him, playing the role with such commitment and tenderness that his untimely end was met with sobs from the audience.  

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The quality of the rest of the cast is exceptional, in particular Beth Humphries and Tim Prottey-Jones who get to display their impressive vocals in the beloved Seasons of Love. The production values too are impressive – many could learn from a show of such high quality – the thought that has gone into the staging should be applauded – the only bugbear being the size of this venue, the stage is massive and the audience in the stalls  have to constantly look side to side and up and down to keep track of everyone onstage – physiotherapy needed all round. That aside this was a rare opportunity to see a cast and show of such high quality. Let’s only hope there will be more like it.