Multiple Sclerosis, or MS as it is more commonly known, is not a condition I knew much about – this was until I listened to a new musical song concept – Ms. A Song Cycle by lyricist Rory Sherman.
This is the 30th album release from SimG records that has been created in aid of MS Society UK – made possible with a generous donation by Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien.
The album of fourteen emotionally charged and tearful songs, tells fourteen different stories inspired by real women who have been affected by this disease, whether that be family or friends of sufferers, or in some songs, the sufferer themselves.
Every day fourteen people in the UK are diagnosed with MS and it is with fourteen composers from around the globe that Sherman has worked with to bring together this emotional, touching and heart warming album about this little known about disease.
The album features fourteen West End leading ladies including Julie Atherton, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Caroline Quentin, Jodie Jacobs and Preeya Kalidas, showcasing their exquisite mix of talent, emotion, humour and amazing vocals.
Every song has been arranged, produced and sung beautifully and with each story we are taken into the world of those affected and hear how tough life can be. Whilst many of the songs are heartfelt and soft, there are also some humorous songs which adds the right balance to this album, yet still pushing through the message about how crippling this disease can be.
One of my favourite songs on this album, ’How Can I Tell You’ sung by Julie Atherton had me captivated from her very first word. It is a moving and deeply emotional song, which has been matched with Atherton’s soft vocals perfectly.
I also liked ‘What’s That Jim?’ by composer George Stiles, sung by actress Caroline Quentin, which tells us of her relationship with her husband and the support he provides her with. This was quite a light hearted song but still retained the message of the love and warmth for her husband – a beautiful song.
‘Tortoise & Hare’ sung by Caroline Sheen had me in tears, a truly moving and captivating story of the real struggle and heartbreak of marriage, with lyrics “I’m the tortoise, and you, you’re the hare, at the edges this marriage has started to crack…fact. I’d rather end on a high, than let our love die. So now I think its time to cut that tie.”
Ms. A Song Cycle features the very best of our best musical theatre vocalists and mixed with an album that carries its own raw, personal and powerful message – it will be in the collection of musical theatre fans, raising much awareness about this debilitating disease – with a message that needs to be heard.
Reviewed by Sam Harler
The album is available from www.SimGProductions.com.