On the 7th of August, I had a surprise trip to the Charing Cross Theatre where I was transported to the world of Pippin; after seeing the cast perform at The Theatre Cafe (which is available on their Youtube page), feeling such good vibes from the cast and show we decided to book tickets and squeeze a matinee into our weekend …and I am so thankful we did! This didn’t feel just like another West End show, it felt like magic. You could feel the heart of this show beating throughout and could feel how happy the cast was to be there performing this amazing story.
Pippin is a story about passions, fulfilment, happiness, love and war. It’ll lift you out of your life and bring you into this wonderful world.
All of the casting for this show is SENSATIONAL, it felt like all of the cast were intuned with their characters, like their character is part of them and that their roles came naturally. The cast consisted of Ryan Anderson as Pippin, Ian Carlyle as The Leading Player, Alex James-Hatton as Lewis, Daniel Krickler as Charles, Gabrielle Lewis-Dodson as Fastrada, Natalie McQueen as Catherine, Genevieve Nicole as Berthe and Jaydon Vin as Theo. This was such a strong ensemble piece…having only 8 cast members each of the cast played roles in the ensemble (or in this place Players) as well as their named roles. There were no weak cast members in this production whatsoever.
Most of the characters had one main song in the production…lets dive into them!
Ryan’s performance of Corner of the Sky was filled with heart and emotion, you could feel Pippins urge and want for a grander life by the way Ryan was performing the song. Another standout moment was of course the famous Morning Glow which Ryan also did an amazing job at! All of Ryans songs were sung with such passion which really made you root and feel for the character.
All of Ian’s songs had so much soul to them. The Leading Player is such a soulful and fun role and Ian really shone with that aspect, I especially enjoyed the song Simple Joys, it was such an upbeat and happy song which, certainly took the party to a whole other level.
I ADORED Daniel who played Charles’ performance of War Is Art, it was such a different type of song that you normally hear in musical theatre but was so catchy and was definitely a standout moment within the show! At one point he was singing so fast it made me wonder how he doesn’t mess all of his words together!
Moving onto the sassy Fastrada and Gabrielle Lewis-Dodson with Spread A Little Sunshine, another song I absolutely loved! I loved how sassy Gabrielle was during the performance, watching her at the performance for The Theatre Cafe she seemed so shy and sweet but when she was performing as Fastrada she was so sassy! Gabrielle is also such an incredible dancer! My eyes were drawn to her throughout all of the dancing scenes!
Next is the wonderful Natalie McQueen who’s standout moment was definitely Kind of Woman, which was probably the most musical theatre song in the show…which is probably why I loved it so much 😂, Natalie just has such a sweet yet powerful voice which really shone through in all of her songs but especially during Kind of Woman and her smiling throughout really made the performance enjoyable.
Following Natalie, we have Genevieve Nicole as the hilarious Bertha, singing No Time At All! Genevieve was HILARIOUS during this song, she brought so much sass, comedic timing and energy and was really taking the moment to truly shine through on the stage! Even days after her performance is still in my memory!
Finally, we have Alex James-Hatton as Lewis and Jaydon Vin as Theo…and whilst these two didn’t have a standout song each, I really loved seeing them on stage! I think Alex did a great job at playing the almost stuck-up step-sibling but still keeping a big heart within the character and not making him too dislikeable; and I think Jaydon was precious as young Theo, especially during the Prayer for the Duck scene! I wish we got to see both of them more within their main roles!
The standout group song has got to be Magic To Do, it has been stuck in my head ever since I have seen the musical and was such an amazing opening number, really got you excited about the next two and a half hours you were going to spend going on this story!
I also have to mention the dancing as well! I adored all of the dancing within this production it had such a youth feel to it yet with amazing and incredible performers, there was obviously a lot of Fosse elements to this musical which is always a fun dance style to watch! All of the performers were incredible dancers as well! Not one part of this show was out of place! Another really fun thing about this musical is that it is performed in The Round rather than just a ‘flat’ stage production, this means there’s a lot of interactions with the audience and a lot of different elements you couldn’t have done on a normal stage.
I loved everything about this production, from the lighting to the costumes, to the staging and to the cast. This show felt so special and had so much heart that I really wish it was getting more recognition and love! If you want a special show to see rather than your normal theatre shows, this is definitely the one to see! I really hope that I get the chance to go and see it again before it closes on September 5th!
A special thanks goes out to the Theatre Cafe and Amy Hart for hosting the Pippin performance and introducing me to this amazing musical!
If you like what you saw in those two videos you can buy tickets here!: https://imp.i108736.net/e4rYx1,
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Book by 31 August 2021