They never cease to amaze me.
After 17 years of performing together, you may have thought Beyond the Barricade would start to lose some enthusiasm, or the voices might start to go.
But at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley, on Saturday night, they proved they just get better and better.
Starring Andy Reiss, David Fawcett, Katie Leeming and Rebecca Vere, together with their own ensemble of talented musicians, put on a show which is very simple. It’s four singers and three musicians on a stage.
There’s not thrills or gimmicks (unless you include David’s waistcoats). It’s just classic songs from musical theatre performed to a phenomenal standard.
I have seen Beyond the Barricade several times now and each time the set has been different.
This time there were two or three songs I hadn’t seen them perform before. So not only are do they keep up their very high standards after 17 years, they also keep things fresh (although the jokes could do with updating David!).
You get all kinds of combinations of the four singers together - it’s always a joy to see David and Rebecca do the Song That Goes Like This from the brilliant Spamalot, while Andy and Katie’s Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors was great.
And in the Miss Saigon opening, Katie and Rebecca did a brilliant rendition of the heartbreaking I Still Believe.
On the solo front, David’s ‘Anthem’ from Chess was superb and Andy’s Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say) from Jesus Christ Superstar is simply stunning. But as good as the solos are, the show really comes alive when all four are on stage singing songs which are meant for a much bigger ensemble.
‘Masquerade’ (Phantom), ‘The Heat is on in Saigon’ (Miss Saigon) and ‘The Quintet’ (West Side Story) are all brilliantly done.
I could have done without The Lion King songs, but that’s just personal taste.
But what everyone waits for is the Les Miserable ending and it still amazes me how they perform One Day More with just the four of them. It has to be seen to be believed.
Here’s to another 17 years.
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