Monday, 11 October 2010

Gala Night Reviews

All that effort to get to Gala Night and Rachel wasn't even there. Needless to say I ripped up my ticket and walked out.......................after watching a truly remarkable show.

Of course I was disappointed when I realised Rachel was off ill but it didn't detract - much - from an amazing evenings entertainment. I mostly feel sorry for Rachel because I know how much she would have loved to be part of this event. Get well soon Rachel.

There were so many incredible performances I find it hard to remember them all, especially as my head is still vibrating after Bombay Dreams. I was sat very close to the main set of speakers on the side if the stage and the bass was so deep it seemed to shake the entire theatre. In fact my only grumble would be the sound. As Victoria commented in the post below, they did have issues with numerous microphones. Some didn't work at all and others seemed too low to properly hear the singing above the very loud music.

It was still a fantastic show and I'm so glad I made the effort to go because it was well worth it. I think my personal highlight would be Starlight Express but it's hard to single anyone out because they were all great.

As Rachel wasn't actually in the show after all and this is of course her fan blog, we don't really want lots of posts about the Gala. However, if anyone would like to share their Gala experience, write us a review or send us a picture, we'd be happy to add them to this post.



Just thought I'd do a brief-ish review of the Gala.

Managed to drive to London... which was an achievement in itself, seeing as I don't have Satnav and despite google instructions telling me the wrong road numbers(!!!) I managed to get there really easily and found a road to park in... legally.

On the way into the theatre I got a program and some raffle tickets and found my seat... which was further backthat I thought it would be... but still quite central. I started chatting to a young couple next me and actually had quite a giggle as the boyfriend didn't know anything about theatre or celebrities etc.

The sequence of songs was basically from the beginning of the theatre to the present in time order.

For the first act, it was mainly people from the wicked cast doing various songs and artists that have been performed over the years. Highlights were as follows.
Sarah Earnshaw, Nikki Davis-Jones & Ashley Grey singing 3 part harmony - wartime style.
Lee Mead doing a rolling stones medley and jumping about the stage wearing all black (of course singing Paint it black).
Louise Dearman singing Goldfinger - perfect Diva song for her.
Sharon D Clarke singing Mignight Train to Georgia
Oliver Thompsett singing ELO - AMAZINGLY - such a great vocalist.

There was a distinct lack of Tucker... which concerned me and as I was looking at the programme there was supposed to be a Barry White song 'You're the first, the last, my everything' - which we know is one of Rachel's favourites - so I was getting a little worried; as instead of the song they just mentioned Barry was there at some point then moved on.

Also there was Bucks Fizz who did a couple of songs very well... with 2 male dancers ripping their clothes off for 'making your mind up' - cue much screaming from the audience.

Alexia Khadime came on to sing Sway by Dean Martin - but her microphone didn't work... although... she wasnt holding a mic... and also I couldn't see a head mic either... maybe she just forgot haha. stage crew ran on with a mic though and she screeched out the rest of the song... more in the pussycat dolls style than Dean Martin.

The programme said that Patina Miller would be singing Think... but there was no sign of her, so Sandra D Clarke had another song to sing and did it very professionally, considering she wouldnt have had much time to rehearse.

In the break I was shocked to discover that Daniel Boys was sitting literally 2 rows in front of me!
We did some more celebrity spotting and saw the following:
Jennifer Saunders
Stephanie Beecham
2 Blonde ones from Scooch
Craig Revel-Horwood
Ricky Whittle & Carly Stenson
The 2 Beale brats from Eastenders
Max Clifford
Louis Spence
Harriet Thorpe!!! :)
George Ure
Oliver Thompsett

2nd half started weirdly with 5 of the Wicked standby's/understudies performing a medley of Sound of Music - but in a kinda swing/burlesque style... but the outfits were the lederhosen things and were not very flattering on any of them.
Wayne Sleep did a weird Charlie Chaplin thing and Bombay Dreams did 3 songs... 2 of which were MIMED!!! - slightly shocking.

Starlight Express was AMAZING! So many people all on one stage at one time!!
I'm actually tempted to go listen to the soundtrack now, as there are so many good songs in there.

The last song... was up to date - WICKED - For Good. I knew as soon as Nikki Davis-Jones came on that Rachel wasnt there :( Louise Dearman started the song rather shakily and the arrangement was odd with the rest of the company providing back vocals and oohs and ahhhs.

I was quite gutted that Rachel was ill... but I know that she would definitely have wanted to do the Gala so she must be gutted too and I know we definitely all send her our best wishes and to get well soon!! xx


Andy said...

Thanks for the review Dan.

I was about 5 rows from the front - on the right side near the speakers - and Alexia did have a head mic on but as with some others, it clearly wasn't working.

I couldn't sit through a whole show of Bombay Dreams. I was pretty sure they were miming but my head was shaking so much from the bass I couldn't tell for sure. Was the bass as noticable where you were sitting?

Good job with the celeb spotting. I didn't see any celebs other than those on the stage.

David said...

Great review Dan with several LOLs -- I'm guessing you may be off Alexia's Christmas card list this year xD

Overall it sounds like a great show though (Andy's eardrum damage and Rachel's absence notwithstanding) and of course we all wish Rachel a speedy recovery.

Dan said...

Hi Andy,
Oh didn't know you'd gone, didn't see you anywy :)
the sound for bombay dreams was quite good where i was sitting... but ye maybe quite bassy.
yeh they were definitely miming.
the guy when he sung on his own was live. - i don't get how it's called an ALW show... he didn't write the songs?!

hehe thanks David, ye not bothered re alexia hahaha. (i did joke that maybe she'd pissed off some of the backstage crew while there so they gave her a duff mic!)... the girl next to me actually said "i wish they hadn't brought her mic on" when she was trying to sing like Melody from the pussycat dolls... so it wasnt just me haha.

Andy said...

Yeah, I made it in the end Dan. I was hoping I might bump into you at the stage door afterwards but as Rachel wasn't there I decided to go straight home. I hadn't booked accommodation for last night so I had to travel back to Bristol and I didn't get back until gone 2:00am. I just about managed to stay awake on the trip home with the help of an extra large mocha at Reading services.

Dan said...

ahhh nah i couldnt really be bothered with stage door with no rachel :(
I'd seen quite a few celebs and could've had pics with them but i guess i wasnt in the mood without rachel being there lol
plus i had a paranoid fear that my car might get clamped lol

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy and Dan,

Thanks so much for the great reviews! It was fun to read them but such a shame about Rachel. GET WELL SOON RACHEL!


Dan said...

Andy, do you think it was the Barry White song that Rachel was meant to sing?

Andy said...

I haven't heard anything official on that Dan but I'd say it's highly likely. She might have been involved in a couple of others as well - Think maybe? - but Lee Mead and Louise had solo performances so I would think Rachel was also meant to.

Dan said...

yeh i'd have been VERY angry if she hadnt got a solo!!
- I don't remember anyone else singing Barry White though... can you?

Victoria Maginnis said...

That was cut along with Camelot.
Also apparently she was also meant to be in Think alongside Louise and the others?

I thought Lexi did well with Sway... well the half that she was mic'd.