Review: Beyond the Barricade serves up Les Miserables, Spamalot and Miss Saigon favourites in West End quality show
- Credit: Archant
I have seen Beyond the Barricade before, and I will certainly go and see them again.
These four powerful voices, performing a selection of songs from musicals, filled the Corn Exchange’s Great Hall with an ease befitting their status as top artists formerly in some of the world’s best loved shows.
Though titled Beyond the Barricade, and with clear links to Les Miserables (the performers are all ex-principles from the musical), it is the variety of music and productions featured in the performance which is appealing. The emotional solos, passionate duets and ensemble show-stoppers all feature and wow in equal measure.
The fact it is just four voices and four musicians on stage, with no backing tracks, does not hinder Beyond the Barricade in any way, even in the numbers written for (as vocalist and producer David Fawcett points out) eight principles, an chorus of 25 and a full concert orchestra.
The experience of Fawcett, Andy Reiss (vocalist, musician and director), Rebecca Vere and Katie Leeming (both vocalists) shows through clearly, as does the quality of the long-running show, now in its 17th year. Everything is crisp and sharp and, no doubt, still among the top musical theatre performances in the country – both on and off the West End.
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Miss Saigon, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Phantom of the Opera all feature, along with the likes of Carousel, Chess and – to the amusement of the audience – Spamalot. The crowd clapped along, cheered, laughed and oooh-ed when favourite tunes were announced and it is always a delight to see performers enjoying what they do.
Of course a show titled Beyond the Barricade would not be complete without songs from Les Mis itself, building to a stunning finale and an encore which earned the quartet a rapturous ovation.
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Beyond the Barricade was at the Ipswich Corn Exchange on May 7, 2016.