The first of three concerts felt like a joyful celebration of the return of theatre but also being able to be part of an audience again.

(c)Danny Kaan

Music and warm (and on occasion naughty) conversation, Monday Night at the Apollo was a real chance to celebrate and enjoy the fact that theatres are reopening and the return of live entertainment in general.

Hosted by Greg Barnett, the concert saw a stellar line up including Aimie Atkinson (Six, Pretty Woman), Cassidy Janson (&Juliet, Beautiful), Lucie Jones (Waitress, Rent), Cedric Neal (Chess, Mowtown the Musical) and Julian Ovenden (South Pacific, Downton Abbey) performing some of their favourite songs as well as reminiscing about their favourite times on stage.

Throughout it all there was a impressive range of songs that were performed ranging from musical theatre to singers such as Adele and Tom Waits as well as delightfully funny and thoughtful conversation that created a really relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere that really welcomed the audience and made them feel involved.

All of the performances were stunning and added something unique, including Lucie Jones performing ‘She Used to Be Mine’ from Waitress, a spine tingling and particularly moving performance while Aimie Atkinson really showcased the power of her vocals on ‘Cry to Me’. Cedric Neal also gave a gorgeous performance of ‘Just the Way You Are’.

Looking after proceedings, Greg Barnett was a warm and engaging host – managing to draw out quite a few surprising stories including Cassidy Janson and Julian Ovenden working on a Bridget Jones the Musical workshop, while Cedric Neal discussed having missed out on working on Kinky Boots the musical.

It was a fun and vibrant evening – a wonderful opportunity to help raise money for Acting For Others and sets up the following two concerts (taking place on the 14th June and 5th July) in a lovely way. For theatre fans it was also an opportunity to find out a little bit more about their favourite performers and to enjoy the feeling of being in a live audience once again. If you can get tickets for either of the next concerts do – it is well worth it.

By Emma Clarendon

Monday Night at the Apollo will take place on the 14th June and 5th July.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐