Last week, a “virtual lockdown production” of Jason Robert Brown’s musical Songs For A New World – filmed entirely in isolation, was broadcast online by Lambert Jackson Productions in association with The Other Palace.
Starring Rachel John (Hamilton/The Bodyguard/Memphis) as Woman 1, Rachel Tucker (Come From Away/Wicked) as Woman 2, Cedric Neal (Back to the Future/The View Upstairs/Porgy and Bess) as Man 1 and Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables/The Phantom of the Opera) as Man 2, Songs For A New World is a collection of powerful songs examining life, love, and the choices that we make as it transports audiences through time and space.
Directed by Séimí Campbell, this production is so much more than you would imagine is possible for a show filmed from peoples individual homes and merged together separately. The songs are interspersed with video montages of current political topics including Brexit, Trump and the Black Lives Matter movement, to showcase how these songs still reflect the world we are living in today.
All four performers are brilliant (including a featured 2020 ArtsEd graduate Shem Omari James) but it is Cedric Neal and Rachel Tucker who really steal the show for me with incredible stand out performances both vocally and acting wise.
We might not be back to experiencing live theatre in full-capacity venues for a while but productions like this at least give us some great content to keep us entertained in the meantime.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Lambert Jackson