West End Does Hollywood
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Cadogan Hall, London
Cast: Luke Kempner (host), Oliver Tompsett, Sophie Evans, Rob Houchen, Leanne Robinson, Shan Ako, Amber Davies, Carrie Hope Fletcher and John Partridge

Join us for two concerts featuring a varied mix of songs from the world of Hollywood – including music from the classics, animations, musical movies, and many more iconic numbers.

What’s more, adding to the spectacle will be GSA and Stagebox choirs, Urdang Dancers, our large West End Orchestra led by musical director Samuel Wilson, and some very special surprises and announcements too!

West End Does: concerts have been a favourite of mine over the past few years. From The Magic of Animation, to Halloween, to Bond, to Christmas - there's a concert for every occasion. The talent is always current and exceptional; and last night was no exception. 

Last night's concert was a celebration of Hollywood and some of its most well known songs. Spanning over the decades, there were songs from classics such as Guys and Dolls and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and more recent film favourites such as Encanto and Shrek

Whenever I see reviews of concerts, I'm always desperate to hear who sang what, so here's a rundown:

Oliver Tompsett:
The Power of Love (Back to the Future)
You Know My Name (Casino Royale)
Pure Imagination (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

Sophie Evans:
Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
So This is Love (Cinderella)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz)

Rob Houchen:
California Dreamin' (San Andreas)
The Show Must Go On (Bohemian Rhapsody)
City of Stars (La La Land) - duet with Carrie Hope Fletcher

Joely Colleen Emms:
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing (Armageddon

John Partridge:
Shallow (A Star is Born)
Luck be a Lady (Guys and Dolls)

Leanne Robinson:
I'll Never Love Again (A Star is Born)
I Believe (Honey)

Shan Ako:
I Will Always Love You (The Bodyguard)
Joyful, Joyful (Sister Act 2)
Never Enough (The Greatest Showman)

Amber Davies:
Holding Out For a Hero (Shrek 2)
Maybe This Time (Cabaret)
My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)

Carrie Hope Fletcher:
As Long as He Needs Me (Oliver!)
City of Stars (La La Land) - duet with Rob Houchen

Stage Box Kids:
Encanto Medley

Guildford School of Acting Choir:
Double Trouble (Harry Potter)

Encore (entire cast):
This is Me (The Greatest Showman)

The show opened with Samuel Wilson and the West End Orchestra kicking us off with the iconic Universal intro music, which then followed into a collection of iconic movie soundtracks; including Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and my all-time favourite, The Holiday. There's something magical about listening to movie soundtracks with a live orchestra; it feels emotional and all-encompassing. At the start of Act 2, the orchestra also performed Somewhere from West Side Story, which moved me to tears; it was absolutely beautiful

It's difficult to pick out favourites, as the cast were simply exceptional. But a few standout performances for me were My Heart Will Go On, sang by Amber Davies, As Long as He Needs Me, sang by Carrie Hope Fletcher and I Will Always Love You, sang by Shan Ako. These performances received a standing ovation from the audience, which was well deserved.

Other standout songs for me were: California Dreamin' sang by Rob Houchen, I'll Never Love Again sang by Leanne Robinson, Holding Out For a Hero sang by Amber Davies and Pure Imagination sang by Oliver Tompsett

For me, Shan Ako and Amber Davies completely stole the show. Having two of the most iconic movie songs of all time (I Will Always Love You and My Heart Will Go On), they had the most difficult job - but they completely blew the roof off of Cadogan Hall. 

A special mention must also go to Rob Houchen, Shan Ako and Amber Davies who had different outfits for each of their songs - they were serving looks! But let's be honest - the whole cast are just as gorgeous, as they are talented.

The GSA Choir and Stage Box Kids were incredible, and it was fantastic to see so many young people's talent being showcased on such a brilliant stage.

My one slight critique is that I would have loved to see Carrie sing another song on her own. She captures the audience's attention whenever she's on stage - and it would have been great to have seen more of her.

The lights, the staging, the dancing - it was all brilliant. And West End Does have reminded me once again why their concerts are some of my favourite events. It's a night of fun and laughter - but most importantly, a celebration of our upcoming and current West End talent, with some of the country's best-loved films. 

West End Does: Drag is coming very soon, and they have West End Does: Christmas in December. If you have a chance to attend these events, treat yourself! It's always a spectacular night out, in a stunning venue.

photo credit: Danny With a Camera

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