A Night At The Musicals – Review

A Night At The Musicals: Southwark Playhouse, London

25th November 2020

★★★★

Star of Six, In The Heights, Rent and most recently A Boy In A Dress, Christina Modestou wows the audience at her own cabaret concert at the Southwark Playhouse. Featuring songs from well-known shows such as Come From Away, We Will Rock You, In the Heights, Six and many more, her dynamic vocals and charming stage presence make for an exciting and much needed evening out.

Musical director Richard Wetherell has worked tirelessly alongside Christina to create a diverse and interesting journey through some of the most well-loved musical numbers. Wetherell has also created fantastic medleys and mash-ups. Including a clever Wicked mash-up showing off Christina’s powerful range of emotion and talent and a medley of In The Heights songs where Christina even gets the chance to show off her rapping skills.

Christina is certainly is right when she says the Welsh are known for their lungs as she proves that she is capable of stunning powerhouse vocals and belts. But the varied set demonstrates her ability to also use a delicate and touching tone as shown in the stunning version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. Her beautiful renditions of ‘Me and The Sky’ and ‘Without You’ are both tear jerking and full of emotion. She is able to change dynamics and emotion at the drop of a hat and as she storms through the list of ‘shows she didn’t book’ it makes the audience wonder why on earth not?! Not content with being just one Queen, Christina impresses as all six queens from the hit musical Six where she played the original Boleyn in both the London workshop and the cast recording.

Modestou is able to hold the audience in the palm of her hands throughout the 2-hour show. Her lively, comedic personality is infectious and she talks to the audience as though close friends rather than complete strangers. With tales of her childhood growing up in Wales as well as life as a musical theatre performer, Christina is down-to-earth and instantly likeable.

Throughout the London run Christina has featured West End stars including Waylon Jacobs, Oliver Tompsett, Renee Lamb (1st November) and this week it was the turn of West End legend Jenna Russell. Singing ‘Stars and the Moon’ from Songs from a New World, Jenna demonstrates exactly why she is so well-loved. She performs the song beautifully and with ease. No over-acting or dramatics, the song is performed effortlessly with superb characterisation. As well as inviting some of her famous friends Christina launched a search for new talent and, during this performance, Millie Rose Davies and Daniel N Guessan Lopez impressed with their confidence, storytelling and vocals.

There is no forgetting that we are in the middle of a pandemic which has brought the Arts to an almost standstill. Even from the very opening number, a clever rewriting of ‘Part of This World’ references are made to the current plight for the Arts. ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ is especially poignant given the current situation. But this is a night for enjoyment and entertainment not politics. Perfect for escaping from the constant Covid updates and ever changing rules and regulations. After all, if a night at the musicals can’t help bring a smile to your face it’s unlikely anything will.

A Night At The Musicals is playing at Southwark Playhouse again on the 1st November 2020, for information and tickets click here.

Photo Credit: Anthony Robling

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