This intimate concert is filled with warmth and feeling – making it a delightful watch.
Having won this year’s Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for & Juliet, it was lovely to see David Bedella taking centre stage again for this intimate concert.
Reuniting with Steve Clark, his Music Director from David Bedella And Friends, this concert is filled with a rich diversity of songs – many of which I in all honesty was not familiar with. But the selection was perfectly chosen – filled with plenty moments of reflection and tenderness.
Opening with a playful and uplifting performance of ‘I Can See it’, David Bedella comes across as a debonair performer, charming instantly with the warmth and smoothness of his vocals.
But the music selection also feels as though it is paying tribute to the intimacy of the Crazy Coqs venue – filled with classy interpretations. This can certainly be heard through the high quality performance of ‘New York State of Mind’ and the tenderly reflective ‘Choose a Star’.
The rapport between Clark and Bedella in their conversation together adds to the relaxed atmosphere of the concert making it easy to sit back and simply enjoy. Clark on piano offers some wonderfully delicate performances that really also work well in complimenting the richness of Bedella’s vocals – particularly heard during ‘Down on My Knees’. This song was paying tribute to Bedella’s love of country music and this love really shone through.
This whole concert feels like it is paying tribute to many in the music industry. Particular standouts including a beautiful tribute to composer Jerry Herman with a mix of ‘Song On the Sand/ I won’t Send Roses’ from La Cage Aux Folles and Mack & Mabel. The performance showed great depth and understanding for Herman’s work that was really appreciated. Elsewhere, David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ was a lovely unexpected addition, with Bedella really managing to put his own spin on this classic song.
This being said, there is also plenty of opportunity for fun as well, with a particularly lively rendition of ‘Something Better Than This’ was an excellent chance for us to see once again why the performer won an Olivier Award for his performance in & Juliet. Meanwhile, ‘Too Close For Comfort’ is a real fun-filled number that gets the toes tapping along.
Perhaps the concert ends on a bit more of a sombre note than expected as Bedella reflects on the year that has gone by – yet in the final song ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth’, there is a real sense of hopefulness for the future.
Overall, it was a wonderfully warm,poignant and thoughtful performance. It delivered in terms of an excellent range of songs, elegant performances and genuinely manages to lift the spirit. A wonderful way to spend an hour.
By Emma Clarendon
A live Stream With David Bedella is available to watch until the 18th January.