Sunday In The Arts – Above the Arts Theatre

arts_theatre_cub_bar_soho_london_1Above The Arts Theatre is a quaint, homely, intimate space simply perfect for a cabaret. Hosted by the hilariously stagey Emma Ralston and Anthony Williamson who performed their own re-written musical songs and provided humour throughout the show.

Straight from Britain’s Got Talent and a previous UK Tour of Hairspray playing Link Larkin was Luke Striffler singing In The Still Of The Night by Cole Porter and I Who Have Nothing originally sung by Tom Jones. Striffler’s first song showed off his strong falsetto, gorgeous tone and liquidy riffs, his second was completely contrasting, proving he also has a strong belt. Both songs showcased Luke’s beautifully sincere acting, simple and sincere which is all the audience could ask for.

Charlie Martin, predominantly known for her roles in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and more recently Billy Elliot, sang Losing My Mind from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. Martin is a prime example as to why cabaret’s can be so successful, her performance was stripped back to only her and her voice showing the sincerity in stillness through her acting. Martin juxtaposed her first song with the comedy song Diva, by the contemporary composers Styles and Drew, Martin received howls of laughter from all audience members during this song.

Irishman Conleth Kane, showcased his excellence at performing comedy songs. Conleth sang Mr Burges, and The Sensitive Song from Cops The Musical. Kane showcased natural humour throughout both songs, his first song choice gained comedy status through the artists performance and how they portrayed the characters opposing his second song choice which primarily acquired hilarity through the use of lyrics as well as his performance.

Tanya Lewis performed a song written by the Musical Director of the evening, James Doughty, who started writing a musical five years ago about the life of a girl who lost her twin at birth. The song Tanya performed was one of the lead songs sung by one of the lead characters called The Lucky Bird. Due to it being an unknown piece of writing one doesn’t really have much to compare Lewis’ performance too, however the song in itself was a beautifully written.

The final performer was Lucyelle Cliffe primarily known for being in Wicked. Cliffe proved what an all-rounder of a performer she is by re-enacting her worst audition situations all rolled into one. She brought her entire rep folder with her and sang snippets of songs from that – all to the panellists dismay, it was very humourous and an exceedingly good way for Cliffe to show off her versatility as an artist. She returned in Act Two with Love You I Do from Dreamgirls showing an incredibly high belt as well as alternate notes and melodies mixing it up for the exceedingly stagey audience.

The ‘Graduate Performer Spot’ this month went to Lucy Pollard, a graduate from Laine Theatre Arts. Lucy sang an anthem of musical theatre, Somewhere Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, really focusing on portraying the innocence and naivety of Dorothy through the use of soft, young vocals as well as conveying longing through her acting choices.

Sadly, Sunday In The Arts is being postponed for a while, however another event organised by the same hosts should be happening in July (not confirmed yet so watch this space!) This evenings standout performer was Lucyelle Cliffe for her excellent songs, hilarious comedy and incredible versatility.

Reviewed by Thomas Yates