15 February 2006
To celebrate our 6th Valentine’s Day together, I took Suzy to see The Magic of the Musicals starring Marti Webb and Wayne Sleep (I’ve heard of both of them) with some other guy called Robert Meadmore (I’ve never heard of him before and he’s apparently not important enough to have his own entry on Wikipedia either).
The show was generally very good, although the lighting was pretty amateurish in parts. Marti Webb is an excellent singer with an extremely versatile voice; she’s also great at convincing the audience that she’s actually living the part. Wayne Sleep isn’t anywhere near as good, of course, but I suspect he was there primarily for his dancing capabilities rather than his singing voice. Watching the show, it’s obvious that his favourite dance move is the one where he spins around as fast as he can (sometimes on only one leg) as though trying to make himself dizzy – just like primary school kids do in the playground! Maybe I’m missing something, but that doesn’t look too difficult to do. I don’t understand why the audience applauded each time he did it. His tap-dancing was much better.
Robert Meadmore’s singing was okay, but it wasn’t that great in my opinion. He just didn’t seem to empathise with the characters he was supposed to be playing. His voice even caused a bit of distortion and vibrated parts of Sheffield City Hall when he hit certain notes which didn’t help. He was also very keen on promoting his latest album and some of his introductions to the songs were quite annoying.
The backing singers and dancers were entertaining, although one of the blokes looked far too cheesy with his fake tan, huge mouth full of gleaming white teeth and over the top expressions. My sympathy and credit must go to one of the girls who slipped and fell during one of the songs but immediately got back up and carried on – a true professional! (Although a true professional probably shouldn’t have fallen in the first place...)
The live band consisted of eight multi-talented musicians, with a few of them alternating between several instruments throughout the show. Watching the band and listening to the music reminded me of when I used to play the piano and trumpet for the school choir and orchestra, and Bolton Schools Concert Band. In fact, watching the show last night has inspired me to go out and buy some valve-oil and a practice mute so that I can blow my own trumpet again – quite literally!
If I actually manage to get a note out of it, I’ll think about posting some recordings here... so watch this space!
It was a short musical that used to be performed alongside some Wayne Sleep vehicle also written by Andrew Lloyd Uglystick (which is where the theme to The South Bank Show comes from).
The best musical of all time is of course Barnum, staring Michael Crawford.
In response to your comments, I wasn't really slagging him off. I was merely stating facts when I said he wasn't important enough to have his own entry on Wikipedia, unlike Marti and Wayne. And of course I could have done more research to find out who he was, but that wouldn't have made me think his voice was any better, nor would that have helped him to empathise with the characters or stopped him from annoyingly promoting his new album all the time!
Thanks for replying. Maybe you should have looked closer on Wikipedia... Robert's definitely there!
As for "promoting" his own album I am personally glad he did it; it was actually nominated on the Classic Brit Awards last year. Didn't you know that either? I bought it and find it fabulous.
And if you find his voice that bad, why do you really think he's been a West End star for so many years? I would very much doubt that anyone with cast a baritone with a "bad" voice in so many excellent roles!
But to each his opinion. I'll stick to mine!