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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

A whole lot of soul: Cynthia Erivo in concert

Last Monday night was an opportunity for Cythia Erivo to strut her stuff in her first solo concert. Whether it is a quiet softly sung ballad or belting out a showstopper there does not seem to be anything she cannot do.

She has been a rising star in the West End with stand out performances in The Color Purple, Dessa Rose and Sister Act, but here she was able to showcase a range of musical styles, and her phenomenal vocal range.
The choice of music was an inspired choice of soul classics, musical theatre and intricate original songs written by Erivo.

The original songs were particularly stunning and personal, filled with emotions and reflection. Her song Fly Before You Fall is part of the film Beyond the Lights (which has yet to have a UK release date).

But she also let things rip with an electrifying rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” that had the audience screaming with delight and on its feet for the first standing ovation.

By the time she concluded the evening with “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” the audience were ecstatic, as evident in the clip made available through the West End Video Youtube channel. The release of the video has caused endless chatter given that there may be a West End production of Dreamgirls in the not too distant future...

Kings Place is a particularly classy venue with its comfortable seating and wood panelling (it must be terrific for chamber orchestra concerts). But adding to the sophistication was the five piece band under the musical direction of Tom Deering and their exceptional musical arrangements.

A fine evening of music making and I can’t wait for the album to come out… First impressions with @johnnyfoxlondon follow...

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