Review: Welsh Proms - West End Prom @ SDH
The Proms are everywhere. Although in London they go on for two months, we in Wales get our own little festival lasting a mere week. Like with its English counterpart, it’s been a few years since going for me. It is a welcome return to form.
The first concert for this season for me was the musical prom, entitled The Best Of The West End Prom. With WNO orchestra and the soloists David Shannon and Caroline Sheen, we were guided through a whistle-stop tour of all things musical. David Charles Abell conducted this journey with blazing aplomb. He is American and very cheesy, but is also very charming and has a good hold of audience interaction.
This evening crammed in such songs from Guys & Dolls, Miss Saigon, Cats, Cabaret and Oliver! Shannon who is Irish (yet was bizarrely introduced by our maestro as being Scottish) was very sure of himself. His singing for Phantom Of The Opera is very certain and a role he has made his own in London. Come to think of it, I saw Phantom a few years ago in the West End. So it could very well have been him. I must check my programmeâ€¦
Sheen is local to South Wales. She was at her best in Maybe This Time from Cabaret. Her rendition of Blow, Gabriel, Blow from Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, a musical set on a cruise liner, was rambunctious and toe-tapping. The words in this are immediately catchy and immensely witty. "Come on you scamps, get up you sinners, you’re all too full of expensive dinners," is one of my favourite lines from a song. It was a surprising delight to hear this on the programme. Yet sadly out of all the songs detailed in the programme, it had the least said about it.
Anything from West Side Story is always a highlight and the rendition of Somewhere by both singers certainly remained with you. It’s a tender ballad and perhaps the best song of Leonard Bernstein’s masterpiece. Hearing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins has made me want to do a CLICplay spoof of our own after doing one of The Shining.
If this concert made me realise anything, it was that I don’t go to see enough musicals. Out of the songs on this night taken from seventeen shows, I have only seen a measly five, most of those being amateur productions.
My love of musicals goes back to my childhood. Perhaps it’s time to rekindle this passion once more.