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Review by West End Best Friend.

MTJ Productions latest concert celebrates the world of musical theatre and shows us exactly what we have all been missing during these lockdown months.

Opening with an ensemble rendition of ‘A Million Dreams’ from The Greatest Showman and backed by a live orchestra, led by Andrew Hopkins, the production gets off to a cracking start.

Our hosts for the evening are Michael Jenkins and James Lee Humphreys, not only very talented singers, but also amusing and charming comperes.

Humphreys’ execution of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic, ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific, is delivered with power and it is clear why he has earned himself the nickname, “The Voice from the Valley!”

This is closely followed up with Jenkins delivery of Oklahoma’s ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, which prompts an audience sing-along.

There are songs from musicals old and new, ‘Dancing Through Life’ (Wicked), ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ (Oliver), ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ (Grease), ‘Til I Hear You Sing’ (Love Never Dies), ‘Cabaret’ (Cabaret), ‘Waving Through A Window’ (Dear Evan Hanson), ‘If I Can’t Love Her’ (Beauty and the Beast), ‘Maybe’ (Miss Saigon), ‘Why God Why’ (Miss Saigon), and ‘Defying Gravity’ (Wicked).

‘You’ll Be Back’, from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, is one of the highlights of the evening.  Performed by Humphreys, his comical rendition is a delight.  

Closing Act One, from the Queen musical We Will Rock You, is ‘Somebody To Love’, belted out skilfully by Sabrina Alouche; the longest-running Scaramouche from the production.

Act Two opens with ‘The Impossible Dream’ from Man of La Mancha, sung as a duet between Humphreys and Jenkins; both powerful and breathtaking.

Little Shop of Horrors favourite, ‘Suddenly, Seymour’ follows with Rebecca Eastham and Matt Lapinskas portraying Audrey and Seymour wonderfully.

Tom Parkinson, a local musical theatre student, also makes a guest appearance singing ‘I’m Not Saying A Word’ from Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers.  A talent to watch for the future, he easily blends in with the talent of the professional cast.

Concluding with a cast medley from Les Misérables, including ‘At The End Of The Day’, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, ‘A Heart Full of Love’, ‘Bring Him Home’ and of course ‘One Day More’, this is the perfect end to a perfectly entertaining evening. 

Thoroughly enjoyable!

**** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Rachel Louise Martin

You can book tickets for Music of the Night at The Courtyard, Hereford on 25 September here.

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