Boys of the Barricade is a group of West End performers who have all, at one time or another, starred in the hit musical Les Miserables. From ‘town’ to ‘tour’ and even in the recent film adaption, these boys have done it all. Now, they have formed a group, performing well loved musical theatre numbers as well as more unexpected pop classics like the theme to TV sitcom Friends!
The boys talents are undeniable. Andy Coxon (currently starring in Beautiful the Musical) and Kieran Brown (currently understudying the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera) stood out as the strongest of the performers. The choreography by performer Jonathan David Dudley was simple yet effective (although could do with some from practice from a few of the boys). The harmonies and arrangements of the songs are well put together and the boys voices all work together nicely, especially in the Motown and Musical Theatre sections of the show.
With several guest appearances including Simon Bailey, James Gant, Craig Mather, James Charlton and Oliver Saville, it was at times hard to decipher which of the boys form the actual ‘Boys of the Barricade’ group (especially as the shows poster seems to a couple of different people to those seen on stage) but looking at the website boysofthebarricade.com, it appears there are actually twenty ‘boys’ altogether who can form a group of four of five performers for any given event.
Producer Scott Garnham hosted the evening as well as singing with the group and at times solo. His jokes, which went down well with the audience, sometimes felt a little cheesy and unnecessary. Comments like “this is supposed to be Boys of the Barricade” when referencing performers with high singing voices felt like cheap shots at getting a laugh and I found myself cringing a few times. In 2015 it is sad to see men singing songs like I Dreamed A Dream and finding it necessary to change lyrics like “he slept a summer by my side” to “she”. It would be nice to get to a point in the world where people just sing songs regardless of gender.
With so many actors out of work, or doing shows for little or no money at all these days, it is nice to see actors using their initiative and finding new ways to perform like this. And with a sold out launch concert, this has hopefully put a bit of cash in all their pockets! With a bit more rehearsal time and some good direction, Boys of the Barricade could have a very successful future ahead of them.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
For more information on Boys of the Barricade click here