Kayleigh McKnight – The Big Smoke Festival: The Other Palace Studio, London
15th July 2018
As part of The Big Smoke Festival 2018 at The Other Palace Kayleigh McKnight, currently staring in Tina the Musical at the Aldwych Theatre, took to the sage to perform her first solo cabaret act. Despite it being her debut and claiming nerves this certainly didn’t affect her performance. She sang a mixture of songs, mostly from musical theatre, that best told the story of her life so far.
Kayleigh’s vocals are rich and soulful as she sings and the range of songs chosen for this concert showed off her vocals to the best. Singing songs such as Waving Though a Window from Dear Evan Hansen, Monster from Frozen and Could We Start Again, Please? from Jesus Christ Superstar showed off her ability to belt and sing softly whilst at the same time staying true to the song and emotion. Her version of I’d Rather be Me from Mean Girls was a real highlight and Kayleigh would be perfect for this role if/when it transfers from Boadway.
As a self confessed ‘tragic gin drinking single’, Kayleigh had put together a fantastic, witty medley of powerful ‘single’ songs. This medley had the audience laughing along with Kayleigh. Throughout the interaction with the audience Kayleigh showed off her comic finding and ability to not take herself too seriously. She certainly had the whole audience’s attention.
Having become well known for her version of Radiohead’s hit Creep she performed it again tonight. Just as before her performance truly brings the song alive and makes it resonate with the audience.
In amongst the well known songs was a new song entitled Defeated, this is a new song that Kayleigh herself has written. Proving that not only can she sing, perform and drink gin at the same time, she can also produce lovely songs with meaningful lyrics. Definitely, not only a terrific performer and vocalist but also a writer to watch out for in the future.