Music That Matters

Rating ****
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Union Theatre – 26th August 2013

There’s nothing more attractive than a man with a warm Scottish accent. Except for a Scotsman who can sing. Well, Kieran Brown has it all. Not only does he look fabulous in a sparkly waistcoat and matching shoes, but he has a voice that makes you really feel the music he’s singing.

So, his cabaret night entitled Music That Matters conjured up an evening of feel good songs, complete with special guests reminiscing about happy times.

Not quite. Each audience member was asked to write down what their favourite song was and why. Thankfully we didn’t have to sing it, but our answers were put in a hat and throughout the evening read out and commented on.

Although I panicked and couldn’t think what to put, this was a nice touch that made the audience feel personally involved with the performance. Choices included ‘Help!’, ‘Astonishing’ and – of course – ‘Defying Gravity’.

Kieran opened the evening with a medley of Someone’s Waiting For You and Smile, which really took me back to my childhood. The Rescuers was one of my favourite films when I was little and I have the songs on my iPod, but I didn’t expect anyone else to. Kieran sang with real emotion and brought the song back to life.

Lightening the tone with the classic reworking of ‘Roxie’ from Chicago, and his personal plea to the Wicked casting director, the evening continued to switch from happy songs to sad songs, with each song meaningful to the performer.

Charlotte Scott showed that she is no longer just an understudy with an excellent performance of ‘They Just Keep Moving the Line’ from Smash and Erin Cornell wowed the audience with her exquisite rendition of ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ from Sunset Boulevard.

However, the most moving song came from Kieran himself when he sang ‘A New Star Tonight’. Written for Kieran by Anderson and Petty, the song is about his Nana. Call me sentimental, but the lyrics were so lovely and it was sung with such emotion, that I got a bit tearful!

The show did feel a bit last minute as some of the duets seemed unrehearsed and the evening was a bit longer than was necessary (one song was quite enough from some of the performers).

But the concept behind the show was a good one music and the evening had comedy, emotion and a trip down Memory Lane. Asking the audience to think about songs that were important to them also helped to bring the message home.