Sunday In The Arts is a new cabaret show above The Arts Theatre in the heart of London’s West End, playing on the last Sunday of every month with a multitude of West End stars. It is a quaint, homely, intimate space, perfect for a cabaret. Hosted by the hilariously stagey Emma Ralston and Anthony Williamson, performing their own re-written well known musical songs – opening with an epic medley – providing humour throughout the entire cabaret.
Steph Parry, who recently just finished the international tour of Mamma Mia as alternate Tanya and was previously part of the West End cast of Mamma Mia and Billy Elliot. She kick started the show with a beautiful, mature rendition of The Winner Takes It All from Mamma Mia. Her experience with this song really showed through in her acting decisions. She returned in the second act with her own lyrics to the song A Summer In Ohio from The Last Five Years. Naming this song A Weekend Doing Promo was perfect for all the stagey performer audience members with clever lyrics, receiving howls of laughter.
Mark Anderson finished Book of Mormon earlier this year, his other credits include the UK Tour of Legally Blonde, Hello Dolly! at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Mary Poppins (UK Tour) and Honk! at the Watermill. Mark immediately won the audience over through laughter showing his humorous side singing the comedy song A Way Ahead Of My Time written by Peter Mills. He then returned to close the first act, with a duet with Anthony Williamson, singing the song She, which included some beautiful harmonies and showcased Marks gorgeous tone. Returning again for a third time, Mark sang one of his own songs, You Used To Walk Me Home, performed with such raw emotion and holding the audiences undivided attention.
Emma Kingston is currently in the West End cast of Les Miserables. Her other credits include: Vanessa in the London Premier at the Southwark Playhouse of In The Heights, Diva 1 in the UK Tour Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Grease, the UK Tour. In the first act Emma sang Bill from Showboat and in the second she sang Saving All My Love For You, originally sung by Whitney Houston. Both were utterly gorgeous, showcasing how phenomenally versatile she is an artist. Her legit musical theatre song, Bill, was sung with such maturity of tone for someone her age contrasted by Saving All My Love For You, which was just flawless, keeping the audience completely transfixed.
Sam Lupton is currently playing Boq in Wicked. Other credits include: Rod/Princeton in the UK Tour of Avenue Q, A Streetcar Named Desire as well as The Hired Man (Bolton Octagon), I Do Not Like To Play at the Liverpool Playhouse. Staring his set with To Excess, written by Kooman and Dimond, the song included extremely bold acting choices, getting woops of laughter from the audience. Sam’s second act song This Is Not Over Yet from Parade showcased his complex acting training through choosing such difficult repertoire as Jason Robert Brown.
Rebecca Craven is best known for playing the role of Rhiannon in Waterloo Road. She also played the lead role of Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray at the Leicester Curve. Rebecca sang I’m Not from Little by Little showcasing the animated acting required for Tracy Turnblad. Later she demonstrated a more developed side to her acting choices singing Astonishing from Little Women.
Lastly, but by no means least, to the stage in the ‘Graduate Performer Spot’ was Luke Bayer, a performer currently training in his third year at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Luke has also performed in other Cabarets such as Scott Alan: Live and Stuart Matthew Price: Melodies in Motion as well as being ensemble in the Les Miserables 20th Anniversary. Luke sang Why God Why? from Miss Saigon. Considering Luke is still a student his rendition of Why God Why? was comparable to the industry professionals. He has a strong voice with an impressive range and strong acting decisions delivering a heart warming performance of Why God Why?
I strongly urge all stagey folk to go and see Sunday In The Arts at The Arts Theatre, next time on the 31st of May, and even if you’re not stagey and won’t know the jokes, the talent alone is enough to win anyone over! This evenings standout performer was Emma Kingston for her excellent songs and incredible versatility.
Reviewed by Thomas Yates