Album Review: Carrie Hope Fletcher – When The Curtain Falls

Featuring a pleasing amount of new musical theatre writing, Carrie Hope Fletcher releases her debut album When The Curtain Falls

“Who you are is how you’re feeling”

Fresh from winning her second What’s On Stage Award, racking up her third novel, vlogging regularly and quite possibly plotting world domination, Carrie Hope Fletcher has now released her debut album When The Curtain Falls. A pleasingly varied tracklisting sees her cover as much new musical theatre writing (shoutout for the brilliant Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) as age-old classics, combined with a few family favourites to make an engaging collection.  

There’s a innate prettiness to Fletcher’s voice that makes it extremely easy to listen to. And it is an over-riding characteristic across the album, which is fine when it comes to the likes of the sweetly lovely ‘Times Are Hard For Dreamers’ from the short-lived Amélie or the Disney tracks here, or smoothing the edges off of Jason Robert Brown’s ‘What It Means To Be A Friend’.  Continue reading “Album Review: Carrie Hope Fletcher – When The Curtain Falls”

Review: Blondel, Union

“I’m a fool…just a fool”

There’s something admirable in the Union Theatre’s admirable determination to work its way through the dustier, neglected end of the musical theatre canon to see if anything comes up roses. I liked what they did with Anyone Can Whistle, less so with Moby Dick, and now its the turn of the lesser-known Tim Rice musical Blondel (the first he wrote after his Andrew Lloyd Webber collaborations) to get the revival treatment.
Sometimes though, when polishing a pebble in the hope that it turns into a diamond in the rough, it remains a pebble. Sasha Regan’s high-spirited, fun-loving production has a wonderfully playful energy about it, and the cast are clearly having a whale of a time, but it isn’t too hard to see why the show has rather languished in obscurity. Daftness can only take you so far (believe me, I know!) and Blondel (over-)runs at 2 hours 30 minutes.
Set at the time of the Third Crusade (1189, keep up) where the titular troubadour finds himself on an unlikely rescue mission across Europe for his beloved king Richard the Lionheart, Blondel’s plan is to sing his biggest song outside every castle in Europe so that Dicky can sing back to him and thus reveal where he is. Like I said, it is silly and mostly fun – there’s just way too many songs stuffed into the score which drags things out unnecessarily.
It’s also nowhere near as funny as it seems to think it is, making Regan’s direction veer a little too close to panto at times. Is this a bad thing? It’s hard to tell as there’s a ton of good performances here lapping up the broadness (Michael Burgen, James Thackeray), vocal strength too (Neil Moors), and real musical talent in the form of the harmonising quartet of monks (David Fearn, Ryan Hall, Oliver Marshall and Calum Melville). Enjoyable but not essential.
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)
Photos: Scott Rylander
Booking until 15th July