by Hannah Stait
This Sunday, musical lovers flocked to the well known and much loved St. David’s Hall to see some of the stages most loved performers sing some of the most well-known songs from an array of musicals. Settling into the gorgeous theatre, we were welcomed to the show by the amazing David Mahoney of Only Men Aloud who did a fabulous job in breaking the ice and engaging with the audience. He worked with the brilliant 25 piece Novello Orchestra who have been blowing the minds of musical lovers in their St. David’s Hall debut. This night was a pure celebration of musical theatre, something that unites thousands of people across all differences. We were introduced to the evening from an astounding performance from The Stage Centre’s performance choir whose powerful voices gave me goosebumps with their performances of an array of songs from ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’ from Annie to the new hit show Dear Evan Hanson in the powerful ‘You Will be Found.’ Backed only by a piano, this group were truly amazing and I wish I could have seen more of them, the emotion in their voices was astounding and at such a young age I know they have such bright futures ahead.
The night was then opened with the amazing Sophie Evans and her rendition of ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ from the classic show Hairspray and her voice blew me away, throughout the night her and the incredible Lucie Jones wowed me with their renditions of some of the most loved musical theatre creations and it was amazing to see them back in Wales for this amazing event! They were joined by Matt Cardle and Noel Sullivan also made an amazing impact on the night, my highlight was Noel Sullivan’s performance of ‘Superstar’ from Jesus Christ Superstar which got the audience on their feet and singing along. It was a truly outstanding performance and this coupled with the mind-blowing orchestra was definitely a showstopper. In truth, this song would have been better towards the end of the set as most of the songs were powerful ballads and this definitely would have been more of a heart-racing finish to the night.
Completing the group was the fabulously talented Kerri Ellis. Her theatre credits are extensive and her voice was awe-inspiring, her rendition of ‘Only The Good Die Young’ nearly brought me to tears. She managed to portray such emotion in her performances and her outfits blew me away – definitely a star! The star of the night for me had to be the amazing orchestra. With each piece, they performed my respect and awe for them grew. The music filled the room and managed to connect with each and every person in that theatre hall. The powerful solos and even more powerful duets brought us through the emotion of each and every musical that the show paid tribute to. From Les Miserables to Miss Saigon and Funny Girl, you would have been a fool to miss it! One of the key highlights of the evening was the surprise visit from the infamous John-Owen-Jones who is known most for his performances as Jean Valjean and The Phantom. This whole evening cemented in my mind how much love and passion I have for musicals and the power that these songs have in their performances to command and move an entire room. It was one of those strange moments during a show that you feel your chest get tight and goosebumps raise on your arms – and I was lucky enough to feel that the whole way through. A truly magical night that I’m so thankful that I got to experience, and if you haven’t felt the rush that comes from enjoying the world of musical theatre – book some tickets now!