REVIEW: West End Women, Cadogan Hall

Lambert Jackson Productions brought together powerful female voices for this stunning concert. 

Following on from their successful concert There is Nothing Like a Dame, Lambert Jackson Productions continues to be inspired by female West End performers. Their latest offering showcasing the variety of talent that can be found on the West End stage – this time in the form of Rachel John, Lauren Samuels and Celinde Schoenmaker.

Beginning with a lovely jazzy rendition of ‘I Got Rhythm’, the concert was filled with a lovely mixture of songs that captured all of the talent on stage perfectly – mainly soulful and heartfelt numbers including renditions of ‘Summertime’ and ‘If I Loved You’ that were lovely to listen to – but it would have also been great to have some more upbeat songs in the mix as well.

Of course, it would be fair to say that all three of the leading ladies were on top form vocally, each highlighting what makes their vocals so special. Rachel John’s performances of ‘Summertime’ and ‘A New Life’ were wonderfully sultry and rich with emotion – capturing the full range of her vocal capabilities brilliantly. Meanwhile, Lauren Samuels had plenty of maturity and warmth vocally that was made clear in her renditions of ‘Maybe This Time’ and ‘Never Enough’ that were mesmerising to watch and listen to, while Celinde Schoenmaker brought the house down with her effortless sounding ‘Think of Me’.

But the evening was also a celebration of up and coming talent, with the MX Masterclass putting in lively performances of ‘Blow Gabrielle Blow’ and ‘America’ that really added to the energy and excitement levels. Vocally, they put in a lot of passion and characterisation that definitely put a smile on the audience’s face. Else, Lambert Jackson had also held a competition for potential to win a slot in the evening’s concert leading to some gorgeous renditions. In particular, fourteen year old Talia Robens gave a stunning rendition of ‘Everything I Know’ from In the Heights that shows great potential in what she will achieve in the future, while Lauren Shields, Kayla Carter and Martha Boon joined the three leading ladies for a sassy but also amusing rendition of ‘Cell Block Tango’.

Meanwhile, the orchestra led by conductor Adam Hoskins offered a thoughtful and elegant performance throughout – particularly when it came to ‘At the Ballet’ and ‘The Man I love’ that was graceful and easy to listen to. At no point did the music overpower any of the performers vocals – enhancing them well.

The evening was completed with a rousing rendition of ‘I’m a Woman’ that was received enthusiastically – but did leave me wondering why there wasn’t more uplifting songs throughout the programme to make the concert feel more like a celebration.

However, there is still no denying that this was a very soulful and elegant way to spend the evening and a true testament to the variety of current and rising talent that we have in the musical theatre industry.

By Emma Clarendon

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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