Review: John Barrowman, Ipswich Regent, May 26

John Barrowman wowed Ipswich Regent audiences

John Barrowman wowed Ipswich Regent audiences - Credit: Archant

It was with some trepidation that my posse and I took our seats in the box four years ago for an evening of singing and fun with the musical theatre star turned television actor and presenter.

A long-term fan from many years back after seeing him perform in the West End, I wasn’t sure how his talents would transpose to the stage. Well, we weren’t disappointed and after the best evening’s entertainment in a long time it was without hesitation that we bagged the tickets for his return visit to Ipswich.

We, the British viewing public, can be very quick to criticise his “cheesiness” but there is no denying the true talent and power of the man’s voice, coupled with his ability to bring the audience in and share a part of his world.

He is rude but funny, loud but sensitive, brash but endearing and the value and importance of his family shines through the whole evening – including cameo performances from his mum and dad – 81 and 83 respectively.

Backed by a great band and troup of four dancers, Barrowman performed his heart out and shared it with us, with his performances interspersed with photographs and videos of the last four years – including his wedding, receiving his MBE, his parent’s 80th birthday parties and much more.

The tour being part of a promotion for his new album You Raise Me Up, we were treated to a diverse selection of musical treats including Cole Porter, This is the Moment, Loch Lomond and my favourite, the curtain raiser finale, I Am What I Am – his self-claimed signature tune, where he sang and danced till the very last note.

While not quite a full house, it was great to see the Regent buzzing and him get a well-deserved standing ovation at the end. I’m hoping with two concerts under our belts we can claim our membership to Team Barrowman and will definitely be back for an encore.

Read entertainment writer Wayne Savage’s chat with Barrowman here and why his fans follow him around the world here.

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Jo Reeder

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