Kerry Ellis and The Wattisham Military Wives Choir, New Wolsey Theatre, Sunday March 17
- Credit: Archant
Review: Kerry Ellis, Wattisham Military Wives Choir, New Wolsey Theatre, March 17
SUFFOLK-born actress and singer Kerry Ellis delivered some West End class last night at the New Wolsey Theatre.
Returning to the stage where she made her performing debut, aged nine, playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, she treated a hometown audience to a mix of her favourite songs. She married some classic show songs with some contemporary pop favourites.
So we got everything from Lerner and Lowe’s I Could Have Danced All Night, Sondheim’s Losing My Mind, to Lady Gaga’s The Edge of Glory to Adele’s Don’t You Remember to Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Queen.
The songs were well chosen and Kerry was in stunning vocal form moving swiftly between moods and styles. The sound is always good at the New Wolsey but this intimate venue was perfect to showcase Kerry’s vocal prowess as she easily scaled the heights of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.
It was very much a personal show with Kerry talking about her performing roots in Suffolk, and the thrill of making it in The West End.
She provided a whistle-stop tour of her career, singing songs from Wicked, My Fair Lady and Oliver – although given a twist by choosing songs that she hasn’t sung from shows including On The Street Where You Live and Who Will Buy?
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She also gave a hint at shows that she would like to do and delivered powerhouse versions of Take That Look Off Your Face and Tell Me On A Sunday.
Kerry was joined on stage by the Wattisham Military Wives Choir who provided backing vocals for a performance of Amazing Grace that made the hairs of the back of the neck stand up.
They then performed two solo numbers Stronger Together their contribution to the second Military Wives album and I Will Follow Him which featured in the Whoopi Goldberg film Sister Act.
Kerry closed the evening with a delicate arrangement of Defying Gravity from the show Wicked which was followed by an encore of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
Although Kerry was very much the star of the evening special mention has to be made of her pianist and long-time musical director Craig Adams who provided the arrangements for the evening and helped put together a first-class backing band.
Kerry is back at the New Wolsey tonight for an extra date. If you want to sample some West End vocal power on your doorstep then cancel all previous engagements and get a ticket. You won’t be disappointed.