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Theatre Review: Momentous Musicals - New Wimbledon Theatre ✭✭✭

Momentous Musicals
New Wimbledon Theatre

Here we go again - another offering of songs from shows being blasted out on stage to the delight of musical theatre fans. I'm not against them... I just don't get excited by them as quite frankly there are a lot of these kind of shows around - we recently had The West End Men at the Vaudeville theatre showing us how it should be done and I gave it four stars for the production quality etc.

Momentous Musicals, starring Gareth Gates, Ashleigh Gray, Bronte Barbe, Rachael Wooding and John Owen-Jones certainly has the West End names out in force, but the whole evening just seemed to drag on. Yes they can sing (when I could hear them - more about that in a moment), yes there are some notable performances and yes there are some interesting songs. But, the production side of the proceedings let the whole show down. From the very start we have powerful vocals from Rachael Wooding singing One Night Only, but alas the sound mix is rather bad that I could only hear half of her song. Bronte Barbe sang Over the Rainbow rather delightfully, followed by Ashleigh Gray with a belting set of lungs behind her for The Wizard & I... Thank goodness for her projection, Ashleigh balanced out nicely with the band and you could hear her vocals cleanly. The band led by George Dyer did a good job throughout the evening.

John Owen-Jones gave a fantastic performance of musical treats from Les Miserables and a beautiful duet with Maggie Lynne (here's a performer to watch out for) for All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera. Gareth Gates gave a nice rendition of Unchained Melody, and later did a duet with Rachael singing For Good from Wicked.

On to the technical side of things, and the sound wasn't the best. At times the vocals were quiet and muffled, especially on Rachael's mic - whose EQ was so low it sounded like, well just plain wrong. The show was a very dry mix, no reverb used on any of the numbers, which unfortunately resulted in many of the slower songs lacking in depth and atmosphere. Add to this the poor lighting and you are in for a technical treat - the backlighting was constantly in the audience, so if you are in the front three or four rows, then take your sunglasses for added protection.

All in all, some good songs and great voices from performers from the West End, but the whole show is let down by the sound and lighting.

Three stars ✭✭✭

Tour Dates
New Wimbledon Theatre Wednesday 17 July
Princess Theatre, Torquay Friday 19 July 
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford Monday 22 July 
Palace Theatre, Manchester Thursday 25 July

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