Review: A show to remember…
PUBLISHED: 10:30 04 November 2018 | UPDATED: 07:33 06 November 2018
A collection of beloved tunes from stage and screen were brought to life at Weston’s Playhouse on Friday night – earning a standing ovation from a full house of all ages.
This Is The Greatest Show didn’t quite live up to its name, but certainly came close, serving up a fun and lively medley of musical favourites, interspersed with some unexpected moments of improvised comedy.
The show – put together Michael Courtney Productions and fronted by Courtney himself – took its name from the successful 2017 Hugh Jackman movie, and predictably leaned heavily on its smash hit soundtrack.
Indeed, the show opened with The Greatest Show itself, a powerful number to introduce the whole five-piece band and seven-strong ensemble of West End vocalists.
The group had obviously been carefully selected by Courtney and the company’s show co-ordinator Amy Lorna Sullivan, and the varied vocal styles of the different performers created some wonderful harmonies and ensured a fresh feeling to the different numbers.
Courtney proved himself adept at linking the different performances together, interacting well with the audience and delivering some impeccably-timed bon mots which earned hearty laughs.
Segues into Meatloaf and Elton John were followed by a show-stopping return to The Greatest Showman for Never Enough, before a rousing Abba compilation brought the first half to a close.
After the interval though, things got even better.
We enjoyed more Greatest Showman, a John Farnham interlude, a dip into Frozen, and a powerful Queen section – both Bohemian Rhapsody and The Show Must Go On proved highlights which showcased the ensemble’s full range of vocal talent.
The group delved briefly into Stomp too, delivering a clever rhythmic performance which began as a comic interlude and evolved into a rousing and memorable percussion.
Of course, the finale returned to its titular source, and the show closed with From Now On, for which the audience was encouraged to stand up, dance and clap along… though in the end that proved an unnecessary prompt, as we were all on our feet in appreciation already.