Review: The Theatre Channel – Episode Six: Showstoppers

Danny Mac, Kerry Ellis and Layton Williams star in The Theatre Channel – Episode Six: Showstoppers, with added Antonio Banderas

“Let’s go on with the show”

The beauty of so many theatrical things going digital is that it is now harder to properly miss out on something. Episode Six of The Theatre Channel, subtitled Showstoppers, aired last month but I let it slip me by – fortunately it is available on demand so in advance of dipping into its newest Rodgers and Hammerstein tribute, I gave it a shot.

And I’m glad I did, as it very much indulged my inner theatrical nerd by stretching its definition of showstopper way beyond the Phantom and Les Mis classics you might have expected them to plump for. Instead, we get hits from the likes of The Last Five Years, Sideshow, If/Then and Annie Get Your Gun, proving that wonders well beyond the West End hits.

Danny Mac leans effortlessly into his natural smoothness to give a slick account of The Last Five Years‘ ‘Movin’ Too Fast’, the sisterly bond of Jade Davies and Amber Davies lends a special charge to their soaring rendition of their Sideshow medley of ‘I Will Never Leave You’ and ‘Who Will Love Me As I Am’ and Kerry Ellis nails the whopping force of If/Then’s ‘Always Starting Over’ 

There’s a rare mis-step in the staging of Layton Williams’ ‘Hold Me In Your Heart’ from Kinky Boots, interchanging clunkily between a wind-machine assisted, feather-trimmed performance to an over-literal reading of the lyrics. But Katie Deacon’s ace ‘Music And The Mirror’ from A Chorus Line is a wonder and the following featurette on the show, including a chat with Antonio Banderas, is a truly special insight into a musical phenomenon.

 

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