West End Musical – Celebration. The Palace Theatre, Charing Cross Road to 13 June. 4****. William Russell.

This is one of those crowd pleasing shows which reviewers need not bother to say much about as nothing will take away from the fact that the audience had a whale of a time and the players will almost certainly take no heed of anything we say. The compere was Shanay Holmes, who also performed several songs, and three men and two women also warbled very loudly through hand held mikes, screeched a lot on the high notes and revealed somewhat disturbing vibratos but who cares? It is what passes for singing in some kinds of West End musicals these days and if two or three standards got murdered in the process it was a small price to pay as far as the audience was concerned. Invited to raise the roof and dance in the aisles it obliged, everyone had a ball and while slightly deafened I enjoyed it, if not as theatre as an experience. The show had been due to open around Christmas but the virus put paid to that, but now Nica Burns raised it from the dead for three nights and the performers put on a display of what they can do best backed a a small but good band. Alice Fearn, who played Elphaba in Wicked and is now in Come Away added a touch of class and Layton Williams, who has played Jamie, camped it up something rotten with an athletic routine or two to cause ones eyes to pop out on stalks. The stars are what the audience would have given, and possibly it would have added a fifth. The six girl dancers changed their costumes a lot and performed terrific but totally pointless routines wearing lots of sequins very well indeed.
Shanay Holmes, Layton Williams, Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Rachel John, Ben Forster.
Harriet Samuels, Poppy Radford, Sophie McAvoy, Laura May Buckley, Nate Williams, Summer Villiers.

Choreographer: Ben Davies,
Musical Director: Chris Hatt.
Lighting Designer: Howard Hudson.
Sound Designer: Adam Fisher.
Costume Designer: Faye Young.

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