This first show from the newly formed Lambert Jackson Productions celebrated female characters from musicals – with the help of four vocally powerful West End stars.
It has to be said that if this show proved anything it is that female characters from musicals have had some of the most iconic songs to sing across the last one hundred years – whether it is ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Miserables, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from Carousel or ‘Rose’s Turn’ from Gypsy.
This first production from Lambert Jackson productions really celebrated the way in which female musical theatre characters have begun to dominate on stage – particularly highlighted by performances of ‘She Used to Be Mine’ from Waitress and ‘Let it Go’ from new Broadway hit Frozen.
But it was also a treat not only to hear how many songs in musicals sung by female performers over the years have become iconic, but a real pleasure to hear them sung by four of the classiest performers around: Louise Dearman, Rachel Tucker, Ria Jones and Alexia Khadime – all of whom offered beautiful renditions of some of the best known songs in the musical theatre repertoire.
Particular highlights included a sassy version of ‘Anything Goes’, which opened the show playfully and allowed the performers to relax into what was a rich and varied evening. Meanwhile, Alexia Khadime offered a gorgeous rendition of ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair’ that captured her vocal range well, while Ria Jones deservedly got a standing ovation for her performance of ‘With One Look’ from Sunset Boulevard.
Elsewhere, Rachel Tucker’s rendition of ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ from Oliver was particularly moving and Louise Dearman offered a stunningly heartfelt version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. But the evening was plenty of fun too thanks to the sultriness of ‘Big Spender’, a thrilling performance of ‘The Wizard and I’ and Louise Dearman and Alexia Khadime’s performance of ‘Take Me Or Leave Me’.
But the show was also highlighted Lambert Jackson Production’s commitment to highlighting new talent emerging on the scene. The company held a competition to pick a young singer to sing on stage – and what a talent they have found. Seventeen year old Daisy Greenwood sang a powerful and mesmerising version of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ which went down a storm with the audience – and something tells me that this isn’t the last we have seen of her.
There is Nothing Like a Dame was received warmly by the audience and came across as a powerful and moving tribute to some of the most beloved female musical theatre characters over the last century – let’s hope that in the future there will be even more characters to be celebrated.
Overall, There is Nothing Like a Dame was a wonderful way to spend the evening. By allowing female characters and performers to take centre stage in this way it highlights the strengths and talents of female performers working in the West End today to great effect and deserves to be applauded.
By Emma Clarendon