Every year Andy Reiss, director, vocalist and keyboardist for Beyond the Barricade, introduces producer and vocalist David Fawcett and says, ‘I am sure you will agree, he’s singing better than ever’.
He’s not wrong. David’s voice is a force of nature and like a good wine, gets better with age.
But Andy could have gone further, because not only is David singing better than ever, he could have said the same about himself, Rebecca Vere and Katie Leeming.
I feel qualified to say this as I have now seen the musical foursome six times in the last seven years.
There are plenty of shows these days take you on a journey into musical theatre. But none can boast the quality and sheer class of Beyond the Barricade.
And they have the unique selling point of all four vocalists having been in Les Miserables.
And Les Mis is a big part of the show as always, but it’s always interesting to see what else they do.
Sometimes I have come out saying, ‘I could have done with that show or that song’, but this time round they hit the spot every time (but if I am being ultra picky, I could have done without Evita, but that is just personal taste).
They kicked off with the brilliant Miss Saigon, with Rebecca and Katie nailing ‘I Still Believe’ and David’s ‘Bui Doi’ was spine-tinglingly good.
Miss Saigon, Carousel, Chess, Phantom and Les Mis may sound like it could be quite a heavy show but Beyond the Barricade don’t just focus on the serious.
They like to inject a bit of humour into proceedings. Katie and Rebecca clearly revel in singing ‘What is This Feeling?’ from Wicked while Rebecca joined David for one of my favourites - ‘Song That Goes Like This’ from the brilliant Spamalot.
And that’s the thing, it’s not just four people singing, these are top class performers who really do perform the songs. ‘Master of the House’ from Les Mis and ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors highlighted Andy’s acting talent.
But just when you think it can’t get any better, they do the Les Mis finale. From Andy’s ‘Stars’, and Rebecca’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ to David’s ‘Bring Him Home’ and Katie’s ‘On My Own’, it’s simply breathtaking.
And then they do ‘One Day More’.
If you haven’t seen Beyond the Barricade perform ‘One Day More’, I urge you to do it as soon as humanly possible.
Beyond the Barricade is a gem of a show and it should not be missed next time it comes to the Hawth.