Julie Atherton is a well know face on the West End theatre scene, although for the the last few years, she has been focusing her efforts on championing new musical theatre writing. “Mostly English songwriters, but don’t think I’m racist, they just don’t get as much attention as the Americans” she jokes at her debut gig at the Crazy Coqs in Piccadilly Circus last night.
Julie’s set is made up mostly of new theatre writing, obscure comedy numbers and a few songs from her album Rush of Life. There are however a couple of more widely known musical numbers. An incredibly beautiful (and hilarious) version of FALLING SLOWLY from ONCE the Musical, duetted with Laura Pitt Pulford (with re-written lyrics to tell a story of how they became friends over tins of Gin) and a song from the new Broadway musical WAITRESS by pop singer Sara Bareilles. Laura Pitt-Pulford also duets on the brilliant PARTY HAT ON MY CAT which left the audience laughing into the interval. Other numbers included LOST IN TRANSLATIONS (from the musical LIFT), PORTRAIT OF A PRINCESS (by Michael Bruce) and the wonderful BABY BABY (from the upcoming musical THE BUSKERS OPERA at the Park Theatre). Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben also did a guest appearance and sang BOTH SIDES NOW by Joni Mitchell (one of my favourite singers and Katie gave the definitive performance with a country-style twang).
This certainly isn’t a money making venture for Julie Atherton. With a four piece band, two backing singers and two special guests, this is a no expense spared show case. She shines on stage with a twinkle in her eye, proving what a star she is. It would have been nice to hear some musical theatre songs from West End shows she has starred in (Mamma Mia!, Avenue Q, Fame) but to be honest, Julie Atherton could sing the phone book and still have the audiences chuckling away in delight.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Julie Atherton is playing at the Crazy Coqs until Saturday 20 February 2016
Don’t just take my word for it, check out this video she made for the song PORTRAIT OF A PRINCESS which features none other than Russell Tovey and Sheridan Smith (amongst many others)!