Benjamin Rauhala and his West End Besties: Cadogan Hall, London
5th February 2023
Music director and collaborator, Benjamin Rauhala has produced hundreds of sold-out concerts including his own concert series Princess Party. Best known for his fantastic medleys and mash-ups, he has been seen in London supporting Broadway star Jeremy Jordan since 2016 and has developed his own fanbase due to his phenomenal musical arrangements and hilarious character. Benjamin Rauhala and his West End Besties was billed to be a night full some of the best contemporary musical theatre, some radically rearranged Disney tunes and songs from the likes of Céline Dion, The Spice Girls, Selena Gomez, and Sam Smith and it certainly lived up to the hype.
Vocally, every single performer was insane, as expected for a concert of this kind. However, this concert was all about Benjamin Rauhala (and rightly so) from his very opening; a question about the Spice Girls (of course) through to the fantastic arrangements of the songs. He is a talent to be reckoned with and is clearly loved by many. With songs from Adele, S Club 7 and Britney Spears through to Disney’s Frozen and Jagged Little Pill, there was something for everyone. ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen, performed by Hiba Elchikhe, Courtney Stapleton, Natalie Paris and Zara Macintosh was a stand out moment amongst many.
Whilst the show could have had some more stagey songs for me personally, it certainly was great to see the performers getting a chance to let out their inner diva. Natalie Paris’ mash-up of ‘Heart of Stone’ and ‘Lose You To Love Me’ was incredible as was Benjamin Yates and Maria Coyne version of ‘The Next Ten Minutes’ and ‘Ten Minutes Ago’. Plus who would have thought a mash up of Adele and Lady Gaga would work so well?
There was so much love and joy on the stage that it was infectious. Not only is Benjamin Rauhala an incredible musical director but he also has such a passion for music and theatre. This came across at every moment through the show, from his dialogue introducing each ‘West End Bestie’ he has collected to him jumping up and down when a performer aced a song.
No doubt this isn’t the last we’ll see of Benjamin Rauhala and his besties in the UK. If so, definitely try to grab a ticket!
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