My Thoughts on The Magic of Animation: Unplugged!

September 02, 2020

In today's post I'm going to be talking about the recent West End Does: The Magic of Animation Unplugged concert that aired this past weekend. I've seen a couple of West End Does shows in the past and I'm so exciting to be writing about this one. I look forward to events like this every year and I'm so glad we were able to get a concert from them this year, despite the current situation. When the show was I announced I instantly bought a ticket and I sat and enjoyed the concert from the comfort of my own home last Friday night. 

The concert began with an enchanting instrumental of 'Fairytale' from Shrek. I love that these concerts always start with an instrumental as I think it's a beautiful way to begin the show and it sets the tone perfectly for the entire concert.

Laura Baldwin began the line-up singing 'When You Wish Upon A Star' from Pinocchio. I always love listening to Laura sing as she has such a beautiful and angelic voice which is so effortless so I'm very happy she was part of the line-up again. 

Jamie Muscato followed on singing 'Proud of Your Boy' from Disney's Aladdin which is one of my favourite musical theatre songs. I saw Jamie play JD in Heathers a lot so it was so nice to see him play a much different character during this song. His vocals are stunning and I was delighted to see him perform again.

Danielle Hope was up next with 'A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes' from Cinderella. I've loved Danielle as a performer for so long as I remember watching her on 'Over The Rainbow' back in 2010. This song suited her voice perfectly and she gave the most exquisite performance. 

One thing I love about West End Does is that they always provide opportunities for new and upcoming talent within the theatre industry. There were two musical theatre graduates who performed in the online concert, the first being Stephanie Howlett who sang 'If We Hold Together' from The Land Before Time. I'd never heard of this song before but I thought she sang it beautifully and I'm so happy she was able to be part of this concert. 

One of the highlights of the concert for me Rob Houchen singing 'When She Loved Me' from Toy Story 2. His vocal range and characterisation is outstanding and I honestly think he could sing anything and everything. 

Next up was Stagebox Kids who I've seen perform before at other West End Does concerts in the past. They performed a Frozen 2 medley and it's always lovely to see such incredible young performers.

Celinde Schoemaker and Rob Houchen introduced act two with 'Somewhere Out There' from An American Tail. Their voices complement each others so well and I'm so happy I got to hear them sing this duet again. 

Bradley Jaden gave us his rendition of 'Out There' from The Hunchback of Notre Dame which is another one of my absolute favourite songs. He has excellent stage presence and it was the perfect song to show off the rich tone to his voice. 

Carrie Hope Fletcher was as brilliant as ever singing 'Once Upon A December' from Anastasia. Her voice is all kinds of incredible and it's always a pleasure to hear her sing. 

Kyle Birch was the second graduate to perform in the concert and he gave us a wonderful performance of 'You Know Better Than I' from Joseph King of Dreams. This is another song I didn't really know beforehand but one that I've not stopped listening to since. His voice is so powerful and was perfect for this song. I thought he did an incredible job. 

Another strong highlight of the night for me was Scott Paige singing ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ from The Little Mermaid. This song not only captured Scott’s amazing acting and comedy ability, but also his strong vocal set, and you could clearly see how much he was enjoying the performance.

Next was a song from one of my favourite films which was ‘When You Believe’ from The Prince of Egypt performed by Rachel John and Hiba Elchikhe. Their voices blended together perfectly creating fantastic harmonies and overall they both gave an excellent performance which was a pleasure to watch. 

Vanessa Williams performed another one of my favourites which is 'Colours of the Wind' from Pocahontas. Before watching the concert I'd actually never heard her sing before but it was a lovely surprise as she has the most beautiful voice and I thought she was excellent in getting across the story of the song.

The concert ended with Alice Fearn and John Ellis singing 'The Prayer' from Quest for Camelot which is one of my all time favourite films but such an underrated one that not many people know about. Alice Fearn has an outstanding voice and paired with John Ellis's gloriously deep and operatic vocals, this duet was stunning. 

I really hope that if you were lucky enough to watch the concert too you enjoyed it as much as I did and if you didn't catch it this past weekend, they're streaming it again this Sunday (September 6th) due to popular demand! You can buy your tickets here. Tickets cost £10 with two pound from each ticket going to the Theatre Artist Fund which helps out theatre workers and freelancers across the UK. 

Thank you so much for reading. Stay safe.

Mia x


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