Sweet Charity – Cadogan Hall

Sweet Charity at Cadogan Hall staring Denise Van Outen – Charity Michael Xavier – Charlie / Vittorio Vidal / Oscar Lindquist Kimberley Walsh – Nickie Kerry Ellis – Helene Michael Simkins – Herman Rodney Earl Clarke – Big Daddy Amy Perry – Ursula Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra ArtsEd – Ensemble Richard Balcombe– music director Paul Foste – stage director Matt Flint – choreographer

A star studded concert version of the 1966 Broadway musical Sweet Charity, originally choreographed by the legendary Bob Fosse is playing a four night run at London’s swanky Cadogan Hall in Sloane Square. Starring Denise Van Outen, Michael Xavier, Kerry Ellis and Kimberley Walsh, this is one show I couldn’t miss!

Charity Hope Valentine is a dancer in a club and unlucky in love. She is determined to find a way out of the life the has found herself living and she soon gets her meal ticket in the form of film star Vittorio Vidal who takes her out to dinner to get back at his girlfriend after an argument. After spending the night hiding in Vittorio’s wardrobe after his girlfriend returns, she leaves the apartment and later finds herself stuck in a lift with a man and they fall in love. But will this respectable man still want to marry her when he finds out she is really a dance hall hostess or will Charity be left at the altar in tears?

With hit songs like Big Spender and If My Friends Could See Me Now, Sweet Charity is a toe tapping show with some great song and performances. Denise Van Outen was good in the lead role of Charity although she did at times rely on a script to remember her lines. However this was done very well and it was barely noticeable that she was glancing at her lines. Kerry Ellis and Kimberley Walsh were both good and sang well together. It would have been nice to see them both with slightly bigger parts as I didn’t feel they got enough chance to shine as individuals. The stand out performer was Michael Xavier as Italian superstar Vittorio Vidal and also geeky sap Oscar Lindquist. Both roles were very different and exquisitely performed. The Arts Ed (drama school) ensemble did a great job providing some great dance moves and a real love in their eyes for the opportunity they have received. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was a lovely touch and perfect for the Cadogan Hall venue.

For a concert version the show was staged well, although I was left a little underwhelmed with the way the famous ‘pushing Charity in the lake’ scene was performed. All this aside, Sweet Charity is a lovely little musical and with this star studded line up it is a great night out. Fans of Fosse won’t be disappointed with the choreography and slick moves performed. If you don’t want to pay £250 to see Kimberley Walsh in Elf the Musical this Christmas then you can see her in this show instead for a fraction of the price! Go check it out.

Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Alex MacNaughton
Sweet Charity is playing at the Cadogan Hall until Saturday 22 August 2015. Click here for tickets