Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Velma Celli Show: Cabaret Review

The Hippodrome has a history of producing fantastic entertainment shows, one of the recent stars being Velma Celli. The alter-ego of performer Ian Stroughair, who most recently was seen on the Rent In Concert Tour, has previously played this space earlier this year with Velma. The Matcham Room at the Hippodrome Casino is the perfect setting for the evening, being my first time going to the place I was really impressed with the beauty of the room. A very classic and elegant feel which matched the evening impeccably. 
Velma Celli makes her entrance singing Cry Me A River, coming through the audience and taking the occasional small sip (or chug) of the audiences wine. The opening set the standard or the rest of the night at such a high level you’d think it would go down hill from there; Not at all. It just got better! 
There were a lot of comedy moments in the show for example the re-worked ‘Roxie’ from Chicago, the small interactions with his guests and the audience were also a great ice breaker and gave a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. One thing that I loved about Velma is that there were so many intimate moments through out the show, Marry the Night and No Day But Today are examples of moments where we saw a different side to the character. Not only was it really nice to see some variety in the performance but it also helped that Ian Stroughair has an incredible pair of lungs on him, his vocals were stunning and at times enchanting. 
The thing that really made this Cabaret special was the guests, lots of wonderful surprises. Jordan Lee Davis, who found fame on the BBC’s The Voice, provided great vocals however his song choices weren’t exactly very fitting with the theme of the night and felt a little out of place. I did really like his duet with Velma though, a very sweet and cheeky rendition of Suddenly Seymour which was a lovely addition alongside the other material in the show. Jonathan Finch was an act that I would have never expected but he was brilliant! Having an acrobat feature in the show was such a good idea and alongside everything else still managed to keep with the theme, one of my favorite things about the night. 
The Velma Celli Show is more than it seems, one thing I can not stress enough about this show was that it is not a drag show. Yes, it stars a drag queen but it is so much more than that. For a one night thing I am astonished at the quality of the show, it is class through and through. This is what Cabaret should be. In the perfect setting with the perfect star and the perfect guests, what more could you ask for?! Can guarantee you’ll be seeing a lot more from Velma. 

Rating: ****

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