Sunday, 7 September 2014

Review: Hundred Story City at the Delfont Room

Hundred Story City
Delfont Room
Reviewed on Friday 5th September 2014

Hundred Story City in the sumptuous Delfont Room at the Prince Of Wales theatre provided a great showcase for its wickedly talented cast. Dubbed 'A Concert of Stories Set in New York City', the show opened with 'Rewrite This Story' from Hit List, one of the shows within the show featured on TV series 'Smash'. Alice Fearn and Rob Houchen (pictured above) provided the powerhouse vocals for this number and set the tone for the rest of the night: great songs, great harmonies and a great blend of voices. These two provided the winning combination of the evening.

The staggeringly beautiful and statuesque Celinde Schoenmaker (pictured right) then treated us to 'Just Not Now' from I Love You Because. The Dutch singer has a wonderful smokiness to her voice and that, in conjunction with her Rapunzel-like hair, was enough to leave me transfixed.

Rob Castell then gave us a one-level 'One Song Glory'; one of the three Rent numbers that featured. These seemed slightly incongruous with the rest of the concert's programme. Yes, Rent is set in NYC: musically and stylistically though, these songs are a lot older than the rest of the material showcased and, to my mind, quite dated in comparison.

Other highlights were the unspeakably touching 'I'll Be Here' by Adam Gwon, strongly acted by master storyteller Fearn and the equally heartbreaking 'With You' from Ghost, sung effortlessly by Schoenmaker. 'Broadway Here I Come' sounded prophetic from the mouth of Houchen, who I would predict big things for, if he wasn't already doing them: he currently plays Marius in Les Miserables, whilst Schoenmaker plays Fantine.

New Bard Productions are to be applauded for bringing some of this lesser-known material to the West End, even if it's only for one night. Let's hope there's more to come.

Reviewed by Jody Tranter

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