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Voices and Lyrics @ Bolton Octagon
Voices and Lyrics by G&J Productions @ Bolton Octagon
Reviewed Friday 14th March 2014
There seemed to be a lot of buzz surrounding this project by G and J productions, showcasing talent previously seen on popular ITV talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent‘. Many people tweeting and re-tweeting about it – and a bit of a vague evening. What to expect? A cabaret style evening? A best of Broadway performance…? Well it was none of those – it was better.
Upon entering the venue I noticed a lot of the professionals I had met over the last few months doing my theatre and review work. This production company was clearly well linked in, but would they have the goods? The studio space at the Octagon was completely filled – not a free seat… which meant the late comers only just managed to squeeze in.
The evening was not at all what I expected… but was a pleasant surprise. Very basic set; stripped back. A few mics, 2 keyboards, the cast and their cracking voices. The music was not obvious choices from West End or Broadway – in fact the Producer and performer James Edgington had selected music from more obscure places. Some examples included music from the TV programme ‘Smashed’ which was a pleasant surprise for me – something I had never really seen.
The cast were stunning with some absolute belters and rising stars. Louisa Love sang a great character song, playing a child, so entertaining. She also performed a slow more emotional song later in the performance – I love her vocal tone and she had such an interesting deeper register to her voice which captured me. Jenny Carson was stunning – gorgeous voice and an unbelievable range. I loved the song she did which had the operatic and then switch to jazz voice. So carefully controlled. Olivia Archbold had a gorgeous voice, and only 17 years old. I could not believe the talent of this girl at her age – the sky is the limit for this one. I very much enjoyed Emma Parkinson and her character performance – really unique delivery about being pregnant… so so funny! Glenn Adamson had a lovely voice with great control – his solo song showed more range than his duet with Hayley Hampson. Hayley’s performance completely got me every time. An absolute belter and stunning performance style. Subtle movement and character decisions conveyed so much. Callie Williams provided even more entertainment and character performances with her fab range songs. I loved her rendition of ‘i’m not pregnant, i’m just fat’. Hilarious! Ian Fox was an amazingly hilarious performer. His voice was gorgeous and he performed his ‘stalker’ character which such great timing for the audience – our sides were hurting. So funny! Emily Grogan was a great performer who had a lovely voice – but I was not sure about her posture control; it limited her characterisation for me, but still a good performance. Harriet Waters really moved me with her performance – so strong and confident. A really lovely voice and such potential already for a 15 year old girl. Another rising star. Graham Edgington produced a good performance with some character – but somewhat lazy for me. Unstructured swaying around the stage – not my favourite performance. And back to James Edgington – we really got to know this guy as he compered the whole evening. This was really interesting as it made you realise how good he actually was – not once did he pretend to be him when singing. He was a character and an amazing voice with such range. The tone of his voice was gorgeous. A must see (or hear).
5/5 stars – Please go and see this fab piece of work and these stunning artists.