The Hope Mill Theatre crack open their address book to gather a great guest-list for this Rodgers & Hammerstein tribute concert, raising much needed funds
“Night after night, as strange as it seems…”
By rights, the Hope Mill Theatre should have been opening the UK premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella next month but ever pragmatic, its very own William Whelton and Joseph Houston have turned their hand to the theatre’s first online concert. Some Enchanted Evening still pays tribute to the iconic composing duo albeit in a different form, with friends and patrons gathering to take us through this wondrous songbook and an illustrious company bringing the songs to life.
From the incomparable Maria Friedman with a King & I medley to the ever-witty Sophie-Louise Dann relishing Allegro’s ‘The Gentleman is a Dope’, Joel Harper-Jackson (who was very good in Little Women) crooning through ‘If I Loved You’ to Louise Dearman#s shimmering star quality in ‘Edelweiss’, there’s a strong set of performances here. Standout of the night for me though was The Prince of Egypt‘s Simbi Akande, whose gorgeous soprano perfectly soared in Flower Drum Song‘s ‘Love Look Away’.
Along the way, such notable friends as Russell T Davies, Denise Welch, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Stephen Schwartz popped in to say hi, someone needs to get Tracie Bennett a stronger wifi connection though 😉 And it was lovely to see some of the cast of Cinderella – including Georgie Buckland who would have made her debut in the lead role – get a chance to shine. At an hour long, the concert feels just about right for these times and with musical direction from Jason Carr and Lee Munby, it sounds dreamy too.
Some Enchanted Evening is free to watch until Sunday 3rd May but please do consider making a donation to the Hope Mill Theatre so that they can continue to do such good things. You can text HOPEMILL5/HOPEMILL10/HOPEMILL20 to 70085 to donate £5, £10 or £20 respectively, or visit their website here to find other ways of supporting the theatre