Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: Boys Of The Barricade at the Charing Cross Theatre



Boys Of The Barricade
Charing Cross Theatre
Reviewed on Sunday 26th July 2015
★★★★

Described as "the world's first musical super group", last night Boys of the Barricade made their debut with a one-night-only concert at the Charing Cross Theatre. Made up of musical theatre performers who have appeared in either the West End, touring or film versions of Les Miserables, the group performed new arrangements of a plethora of music.

The four piece opened with a new take on 'I Dreamed A Dream', immediately showcasing the tight harmonies and powerful vocals which remained consistent all evening. Andy Coxon, Jonathan David Dudley, John Addison, Kieran Brown and Simon Schofield alternated as the core boys throughout the evening, with proceedings being broken up by a selection of guest performances. 

Scott Garnham, who conceived Boys Of The Barricade, presented the show and set the tone brilliantly. If ever stuck for theatre work, Garnham could certainly pursue a career in comedy - his links were hysterical, lovingly making fun of his fellow co-stars. Everyone seemed to have natural chemistry which is what made the event such a success; whilst demonstrating tremendous talent the boys were clearly having a laugh together and didn't take themselves too seriously. The atmosphere was spot on and enabled everyone to have a fun evening.

The entire audience were up on their feet dancing the night away a couple of times throughout before giving two standing ovations at the end of the evening. Stand out numbers included 'Stuck In The Middle' and 'You Raise Me Up' as well as the Motown and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons medleys.

My personal highlight was the group's rendition of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The number brought together all the different talents onstage; their contrasting vocal tones blended together impeccably. It's a complicated beast of a song, but they pulled out all the stops and made quite an impression. I also adored the arrangement of 'One Day More' which closed the first act. Ending the show with 'What I Did For Love' from A Chorus Line may have sounded like a bizarre choice, but - once again - the new arrangement presented the song in an entirely new way and ended the show with a bang. 

This was my first time seeing Jonathan David Dudley and John Addison, both of whom took to the stage with natural charm. Not only did Simon Schofield impress with his Frankie Valli falsetto, but his dance moves and humorous 'stage dive' had the audience in hysterics. As usual Kieran Brown brought top notch vocals; his voice is a little more classical than the others and stood out throughout. Schofield and Brown were also quick-witted, giving Garnham a run for his money.

Andy Coxon was an absolute revolution, effortlessly belting out and growling his way through big note after big note. His voice is incredible and carried many of the musical numbers - he is one to keep an eye on. Guest stars Simon Bailey, Oliver Saville, James Charlton, Craig Mather and James Gant as well as Garnham each did a sterling job - we were spoilt with talent and I would have happily heard more from these performers.

I love the concept of Boys Of The Barricade and, if fine-tuned and pushed in the right direction, the group have a lot of potential. To have a sold out first show with a full standing ovation is quite something! Next time the boys could easily fill a larger venue, or perhaps play several shows over a longer residency somewhere. Similar to Three Phantoms, Boys Of The Barricade could tour, or perhaps pursue corporate work and even record an album - the possibilities are endless! Bringing something new to the table, Boys Of The Barricade put on an unmissable show bursting with talent, flair and fun.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Visit www.boysofthebarricade.com for further information.

Read our previous interviews with Kieran Brown, Scott Garnham and Simon Bailey

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