Review: The Theatre Channel – Episode Three

Exploring the world of rock musicals, Episode 3 of The Theatre Channel features Alex Gaumond, Shan Ako, John Owen-Jones, Francesca Jackson, Aisha Jawando and Rob Houchen

Je cherche le soleil
Au milieu de ma nuit

First, a confession. The idea of a rock musical generally leaves me cold so the announcement of the theme of the third episode of The Theatre Channel being just that wasn’t one that filled me with too much joy. But the quality of Episode 1 and Episode 2, plus the calibre of talent they’ve been attracting, meant that I was happy to at least give it a whirl.

And if it didn’t make a convert out of me (there’s enough fans of Rent out there already…), there’s plenty to be impressed with. The highlight of the half-hour show for me was the chance to hear the Québécois Alex Gaumond singing ‘Le Monde est Stone’ from Starmania in its original French, the desperation of this soaring ballad transcending any linguistic barrier (though subtitles are provided).

Elsewhere, we’re treated to Aisha Jawando singing the sh*t out of ‘Acid Queen’ from The Who’s Tommy and Francesca Jackson taking on ‘Forgiven’ from Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill (how I would have loved a version of ‘That I Would Be Good’). And John Owen-Jones does what he does so stylishly well on Chess’ ‘Pity the Child’. I just continue to find the blend of rock and musical theatre an uneasy mixture that too often lacks authenticity.

Episodes are available to purchase and download via www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/channel and once purchased, audiences are able to watch them unlimited times for up to 7 days. Episode 4 will premiere on 23rd December and inevitably has a festive theme. Stars to look forward to include Sophie-Louise Dann, Cassidy Janson, Rachel John, Zizi Strallen, Manon Taris, Matt Croke and Tosh Wanogho-Maud duetting and a special performance from The Café Four and Graduates from the ArtsEd class of 2020.

Photos: Edward Johnson

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