In this latest concert of musical theatre performers singing material out of their comfort zone, we see a host of faces which have become very familiar during lockdown letting their hair down to perform material from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Beyonce.
The idea behind YouTube’s series of Soft Sessions, launched last year, is “it’s time to ask the artist what art they want to create”. All six of the performers in this concert have explored their musical roots in the short videos produced over the last few months (check out the series here).
This show has a late-night cabaret feel, with a bit of chat about musical influences and background with cast members in between numbers. Grace Mouat talks of her childhood exposure to Northern Soul; Courtney Stapleton and Eloise Davies reflect on how music brought them together and fed their personal relationship.
Some of the songs are more familiar than others, but all are unusual choices for the performers. Of course popular music is high on the list, but there’s a fair bit of variety here. Filmed in the same space with white walls, windows and distressed floorboards, it feels informal and friendly, a place for the performers to explore.
The song list makes interesting reading: Teach You (Grace Mouat & Courtney Stapleton interpret Emily King’s acoustic love number); Happy Together/My Funny Valentine (an intriguing mashup for Grace Mouat); Hide and Seek (Fatai’s break-up song gets a treatment from Courtney Stapleton & Eloise Davies); Don’t Make It Harder On Me (Chloe x Halle’s “we’re just friends” song for Eloise Davies & Martha Kirby).
A group of fractured relationship numbers close the set: Resentment (Martha Kirby sings Beyonce’s gritty goodbye); Never Too Much (Danielle Fiamanya & Jake Halsey-Jones revamp the Luther Vandross classic); All Fired Up (Jake Halsey-Jones seeks out the one he misses); and Runnin’ (Naughty Boy and Beyonce’s lonely lament is brought to life by Danielle Fiamanya).
Director Callum Heinrich has this to say about the project: “Due to the popular demand of the YouTube series Soft Sessions, you can now catch six musical theatre stars live in concert from the comfort of your own home!” This is a must if you are a fan of any of the performers or the songs they are bringing to the virtual stage.
Soft Sessions Live In Concert is an intimate performance to showcase the talents of those within musical theatre in a way that pushes the boundaries and confinements of the industry. We want this to be an exploration not only for the artists in them, but you the viewer watching them”.
The musical pieces are supplemented by a bit of post-credit fun, so don’t switch off too soon!
Soft Sessions Live In Concert is available on stream.theatre from 23 April – 2 May 2021.
LouReviews received complimentary access to review Soft Sessions Live In Concert.