Big Stagey Friday kicked off last weekend at the newly refurbished Above The Arts theatre in London’s West End. Hosted by Emma Ralston and Anthony Williamson, the evening had performances from Rebecca Craven, Sooz Kempner, Evelyn Hoskins and Sister Mary McArthur.

The last time I saw a show at Above The Arts (above the Arts Theatre) it was a grotty little room with no life or soul. To my amazement it has been turned in to a lovely little venue with cosy sofa’s and trendy decor. It is warm and inviting and nothing like the way I remember it to be!

Emma Ralston and Anthony Williams work well together as hosts and their comedy banter feels natural (although a little over scripted). West End Wilma Award winner Evelyn Hoskins sang a beautiful rendition of ‘Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad’ from the Broadway Musical Bonnie and Clyde (which she recently workshopped at The Other Palace) and a duet with former Mrs Henderson Presents co-star Ross Carpenter of ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop Of Horrors. Comedian Sooz Kempner gave a great impersonation of Kate Bush with a kooky cover of the song ‘Wow’ and made the audience laugh with tales of her disastrous gig the night before which involved heckling, crime solving and a man falling off his chair. Rebecca Craven sang ‘Don’t Forget Me’ as a solo and ‘I Will Never Leave You’ as a duet with Emma Ralston. Crowd pleaser Sister Mary McArthur was her usual hilarious self, getting the audience up on their feet and learning the special dance moves to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and other fun tunes.

To round the night off, all of the performers came together for a three minute mash up of the songs from Les Miserables with each person taking on a different character. It was a lot of fun and a great way to end the night!

Big Stagey Friday is a great new concept for a show that brings something new and creative to it that you won’t find at a standard cabaret show. It has been well written and thought out and if the line up’s stay as strong as last week’s then this could be a regular little friday night jaunt!

Reviewed by West End Wilma