On Monday 16th December I got to see the woman who inspired my love of musical theatre with her role of Eponine in the 2012 Tom Hooper directed film of Les Miserables. Les Mis was the first I fell deeply in love with. I used to watch it every night for weeks on end; my favourite character in Les Mis is and always be Eponine – due to Samantha’s portrayal in the film. Getting to hear a person you admire so much live, is always special but something about Samantha made it so much more than just some concert. She’s not at all diva-ish and is still very much grounded despite her big musical theatre fame.
The night was set up in a Graham Norton Show type of way. West End producer and friend of Samantha’s Paul Taylor Mills was doing a sort of question and answer type interview in which we got to learn more about Samantha; such as her childhood growing up on the Isle of Man, who her inspirations are and what she would do if she was the Prime Minister for a day. These interview segments were split into parts by getting to hear Samantha’s gorgeous vocals as she sang some of her favourite songs.
Samantha sang 5 songs. First up was a song from a musical that she is doing in the new year in Japan called Chess. This was the first time I had heard a song from Chess that wasn’t the fairly well-known song ‘I Know Him So Well’. She sang the song ‘Heaven Help My Heart’ a song that I didn’t know until I heard her perform it. I’d love to know the context behind the song within the musical…All I know is Japan is very lucky that it gets to hear Samantha sing that song so gorgeously every night.
The next song was ‘If The World Was Ending’ by Julia Michaels and JP Saxe; another song I had never until that night and another song Samantha sang so well. It was a beautiful moment as the song was beautiful and it was only highlighted by Samantha’s stunning vocals. I added it to my Amazon Music the next day, so thank you for introducing me to the song!
Next up was the final of the songs I didn’t know and a song I have now listened to at least once a day called ‘The Way I Am’ by Ingrid Michaelson. Samantha’s vocals during this performance were so soulful. I could have listened to them for hours- the only downside to this song is that it was only 2 minutes and 18 seconds. It was without a doubt my favourites of the songs I didn’t know!
The penultimate song was by far my favourite of the night. Sam sang the song she is probably most known for…On My Own, Eponine’s big song in Les Miserables. As Samantha and Eponine were the ones who got me into musicals this was a surreal moment for me. She had everyone’s full attention, no one was making a sound as they were so in awe at Samantha’s performance. She sings On My Own perfectly, it was INCREDIBLE to be able to hear her sing it live – it’s a moment I won’t ever forget.
The last song Samantha sang was ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ to get everyone in the Christmas spirit which it certainly did! It also left me wanting her to do a Christmas album at some point!
Overall this night is one of those nights I will never forget, I am so thankful that I got to witness Samantha sing some of her favourite songs in such an intimate venue. She is such a nice and humble person which really shone through in the interview sections. I am really looking forward to seeing her as Elsa in Frozen when it comes to London in October 2020! There’s no way I’ll miss hearing her belt out ‘Let It Go’!