Musical Marathon: The Other Palace
Reviewed 1st April 2018
Following on from the success of the Musical Marathon last year, Paul Taylor Mills held another intimate event at The Other Palace to raise money towards his London Marathon efforts in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust.
The Musical Marathon featured Bronte Barbe, Luke Bayer, Sam Cassidy, Peter Caulfield, James Gillan, Evie Hoskins, Vikki Stone, Suzie Mathers, Idriss Kargbo, Kane Oliver Parry, Lauran Rae, Oliver Saville, Lucie Shorthouse, Jodie Steele, George Ure, Marisha Wallace and Tosh Wanogho Maud. It wad hosted by Vikki Stone and Paul Taylor Mills and accompanied by Bob Broad.
As usual with these kind of events, all the performers were extraordinary but even better was the fact that they had given up their Easter Sunday to perform and raise money for a fantastic cause. The informal night was interspersed with mini-interviews and banter making for a fun-filled evening.
Marisha Wallace opened the evening with an outstanding performance of ‘This Is Me’ from the film The Greatest Showman. She completely blew the roof down and wowed the entire audience. It was a fantastic way to start the night and the audience enjoyed having the chance to sing along with this queen of the stage to this modern hit.
There were some brilliant versions of pop-music from Lucie Shorthouse and Lauran Rae. It’s always interesting to see how musical theatre performers take on pop hits but both singers from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie did a fantastic job and made the songs their own with their unique arrangements of the hits. Tosh Wanogho-Maud stunned everyone with his modern take on ‘Halo‘ by Beyoncé. The way he played around with the arrangement and created an almost brand new song was excellent.
The theme for this nights entertainment was inspirational people and songs. James Gillan used this theme to showcase an original song written by Stiles and Drew for the new musical Becoming Nancy called ‘You Matter‘. This song was gorgeous and James’ tone of voice suited the song perfectly. The night was full of original songs including writing from Peter Caulfield and Vikki Stone. However, the highlight of the night was Sam Cassidy singing ‘All I’ve Learnt’ from his current musical in works called The Bloodstones. Sam proved through this song how truly gifted he is as a composer, writer and performer. His conviction and characterisation throughout the powerful song was utterly fantastic. After seeing his recent musical Myth being workshopped in The Other Palace surely he is the up and coming musical writer to watch out for.
There were some hilarious songs from Oliver Saville, who changed the words to be solely about Paul’s upcoming marathon in ‘Go The Distance‘ from Disney’s Hercules and Suzie Mathers who performed a comedic song entitled ‘Princess’. The song, all about being a Disney princess waiting for her Prince Charming, was hilarious. It was great to see her comedic facial expressions and hear those top soprano notes from the former Glinda.
The night ended on a high from Jodie Steele belting out two numbers back to back. Her version of ‘Dear Mr President‘ really rang true with the current situation with Donald Trump and the many controversies surrounding America at the moment. The finale song ‘Proud Mary‘ ended the night on a high with lots of audience participation.
These kind of events are a must for any fans of musicals, individuals artists or music in general. It is always interesting to see what songs will crop up, how they will be arranged and updated. Not only this but they are often for a very good cause, this time for the Terrence Higgins Trust. The Other Palace is holding more and more of these style events with West End Live Lounge being held there again soon. So check them out next time you’re in London – you won’t be disappointed!
The Terrence Higgins Trust campaigns on and provides services relating to HIV and sexual health. In particular, the charity aims to end the transmission of HIV in the UK; to support and empower people living with HIV; to eradicate stigma and discrimination around HIV. To find out more, or donate, click here.