The second installment of the Theatre Channel‘s new online series of concerts, produced by Adam Blanshay and Theatre Cafe, celebrates the spooky side of theatre with a Halloween special.
Utilising the spaces you rarely see around the cafe’s West End home, we get to enjoy songs from musicals showcasing the uncomfortable, seedy and downright scary side of life.
Opening with Young Frankenstein, working through Carrie, Into the Woods, Beetlejuice, Dracula and the notoriously tricky ‘Confrontation’ from Jekyll and Hyde, and ending with ‘The Timewarp’ from Rocky Horror with a suitably starry veteran narrator in Bonnie Langford, this is entertaining throughout.
Production values remain high in this special – which also includes a quick interview with Linzi Hateley who recalls her first professional job at the RSC creating the role of Carrie.
The Cafe Four return in support in the numbers featuring Jordan Shaw and Trevor Dion Nicholas, but it is the solo numbers that make most impact – Aimee Atkinson’s ‘Dead Mom’, Ria Jones’s ‘Last Midnight’ (complete with the cackle we associate with Oz’s Wicked Witch), Hateley’s delicate ‘When There Is No One’.
The remaining cast, as ever a truly talented bunch, are Bradley Jaden and Sophie Isaacs, and Josh Piterman, both men heavily kohl-eyed and exuding an air of menace. I am enjoying hearing songs from musicals perhaps not universally known outside aficionado circles.
Dracula is a title I am keen to explore, and surely one day there will be a truly satisfactory staged version of Jekyll and Hyde (with its rich Frank Wildhorn score). The Theatre Channel‘s Halloween special is fun, sleek and a reminder of how many strong musicals there are out there.
You can currently purchase episodes 1-3 of the Theatre Channel series by visiting https://www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/channel/. Episodes cost £12 and can be watched multiple times.
LouReviews received complimentary access to review The Theatre Channel, episode 2.
Image credits: Edward Johnson