Tucked away behind the Prince of Wales Theatre, the plush Studio 88, raucously celebrates the joy of live music every night of the week. As the teen-girl-heavy audience wait patiently, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Jodie Steele rush past the queues of fans encompassing the Heathers stage door and scramble onto the studio stage at 11pm. It is astounding, after just finishing a vocally-taxing show for the evening, that the pair even have the energy to stay awake, let alone perform a private concert with such durability.
Steele opens the show with ‘No Good Deed’ in honour of playing understudy Elphaba in the Wicked UK and Ireland tour. The leading ladies then sing a wistful rendition of ‘For Good’, a definite crowd pleaser in a room full of Wicked fans. In-between some rather awkward hosting by YouTuber, Doug Armstrong who plays games and interviews the stars as he reads details from their printed off Wikipedia page, Steele and Fletcher continue to perform songs which have marked their career. These include ‘Pulled’ from The Addams Family and ‘So Much Better’ from Legally Blonde the Musical. Steele steals the show – her voice has an athletic quality which allows plentiful room for riffing on such set in stone classics.
The whole event feels rather thrown together and certainly under-rehearsed, as Steele exclaims she’s ‘never rehearsed with his band before’, as she takes the mic. Despite this slap-dashery, these are songs which run off the tongue for such seasoned professionals, who make the most of the casual setting much to the delight of their fans.
The show finished around 1am and although the night was intimate and rambunctious, it is a measurement of fan dedication how enthusiastic you can be about missing the last tube home on a Tuesday night.
Reviewed by Nicole Darvill-Batten