Gabriel – music & lyrics by Andrew Fisher, book Andrew Fisher & Nick Stimson. A CD abailable from Dress Circle. 4****. William Russell.

We usually review live musical theatre but not CDs but in the time of the pandemic things change.
This musical on CD tells the Christmas story from the point of view of the Angel Gabriel, a full throated, dynamic performance by Daniel Boys, who is not at all pleased with what he finds is God’s plan. It adds an effective edge to the oft told Christmas story which here goes the full musical theatre treatment – there seems no reason why in better times it should not end up on stage. The songs are good, they are well performed on this CD, the odd infelicity in the lyrics apart – “something of cosmic significance” really did jar and the invocation to Mary to push was not quite what one is accustomed to in nativity plays – makes ideal Christmas listening.
There is a powerful performance from David Bedella as King Herod justifying his actions as being down to political necessity, Lauren Samuels is a sweetly voiced Mary, and the innkeeper played by Joel Montague gets a rather good comic song about how one can Make Hay in uncertain times.
As for Gabriel, he realises that Heaven has a plan for all these events. God does work in mysterious ways.
It was recorded under pandemic conditions, which meant that the chorus and instrumentalists had to work remotely, but one would not know. The CD is available from Dress Circle price £10.99.
Daniel Boys, David Bedella, Lauren Samuels, Stuart Matthew Price, Joel Montague.
The musicians are led b Andrew Fisher on the piano. The full details are in the accompanying booklet.

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