Ferris & Milnes: Let’s Go On With The Show
St James Studio
Reviewed on Sunday 31st January 2016
Last year Dominic Ferris and Martin Milnes took to the stage at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, performing as part of Sondheim’s 85th Birthday Gala, to "polite applause". However, five minutes and thirty-three Sondheim numbers later the audience were on their feet. Following the release of a filmed version of the medley which has already been watched by thousands, last weekend the duo took to the St James Studio for a two night residency.
Performing a variety of material from the Great British and American musical theatre songbooks, the concert showcased the remarkable talents of both performers. Ferris is an extraordinary pianist with smooth, gentle vocals whilst Milnes has two extraordinary voices - his tenor voice as well as his crystal clear soprano voice (the jaw of a girl sat near me fell to the ground each time Milnes effortlessly soared into his soprano range). Both have quirky personalities and performed with great charm and confidence.
Without doubt the highlight of the show was their West End Medley which saw fifty songs from current West End musicals being performed in just five minutes. The level of creativity and musical expertise was astounding - within the medley contracting songs were mashed together superbly.
So why only three stars? I think the most exciting thing about Ferris and Milnes is that this is just the beginning. The level of creativity could be taken a step further to feature more surprises and risks throughout the entire show - a couple of mash ups and an extra medley could kick up a real storm. The show also featured a heavy number of solo moments; whilst hugely enjoyable, at times songs felt a little disconnected. As Ferris and Milnes perform more and more concerts I'm sure they'll realise how to make the evening flow naturally and master the art of taking an audience through a real journey.
Needless to say, Ferris and Milnes are the most exciting musical theatre double act to have been discovered for years. There is something special about these two - they are definitely worth keeping an eye on (and make sure you watch their Sondheim medley, it is insane!).
Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)
Ferris & Milnes are set to return to the St James Studio in March and April.
Please visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk for further information.
Photo Credit: Samuel Black