Big Band Does… Valentine’s | Review By Lewis C. Baird

Valentines has arrived! It’s a day which is loved by many and dreaded by some; therefore, we need some good old entertainment supplied for both parties on the most romantic day of the year. BBD Productions are on hand bringing us Big Band Does… Valentine’s, all to raise money for Acting for Others. I got granted early access to see what they have in store for us this time! 

We open with Blair Gibson’s energetic rendition of the Jackie Brown’s hit, ‘Higher & Higher’. This is a superb cover.  Blair’s vocals are outstanding and really do fit this iconic hit. For a solo opening number this is a fabulous choice. We then have Henry Shine & Ailsa Biggerstaff performing ‘First Impressions’ from ‘Date Night the Musical’, this is an aptly chosen song from a rather unknown musical. Henry and Ailsa not only supply fantastic vocals but also give us some great acting, this is a great segment.  

Moving on to Ceili O’Connor who gives us a stunning performance of ‘So This Is Love’ from Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ This beautiful stripped back version of the song is performed divinely by Ceili, whose velvet vocals glide us through the number seamlessly, this is really a wonderful cover. Rachel Flynn is next up, performing the title song from ‘Love Never Dies’. This is a breathtaking performance from Rachel, her vocals compliment and lift the Lloyd Webber number. The vocal precision and technique used is staggering, this is a truly complex number that is performed at a supremely high standard.  

The incredibly talented singer and impressionist Kamen Brown delivers a brilliant cover of Nat King Cole’s classic hit, ‘L.O.V.E’. He nails every impression, whether that is Peter Griffin, Ru Paul, Iain Stirling, Michael McIntyre or even Elvis Presley, this is a hilarious and ingenious cover. Kamen should definitely consider his own fringe show, I would pay to see it. Rosie Houlton supplies dazzling vocals for a performance of ‘My Man’ from ‘Funny Girl’. To cover a song that Barbra Streisand has performed you need to deliver, and Rosie does just that. Rosie’s power vocals do this song justice and give us a true showstopper! 

We now get a powerhouse duet from Rebecca Ellen & Megan Grace, singing ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ from ‘Rent’. This is an iconic musical theatre hit and it needs two insanely talented performers to make sure it doesn’t fall flat. Rebecca and Megan perform the hell out of this song, these two performers are perfect for this number with their spectacular vocals. This cover really is a treat.  

The showcase then slows down with another stunning performance from Chris McLeish singing ‘Your Song’ by Elton John. Chris’ dynamic vocals work brilliantly for this number, being able to deliver the soft tones and belts that this song needs. Yet another incredible cover from this showcase.  

We then move onto Dannielle Logan who performs ‘Let’s Be Bad’ from the hit musical television show, ‘Smash’. I love this song, therefore was expecting a lot. Dannielle’s performance of this track is high energy, featuring marvelous vocals. This number compliments Dannielle’s vocals as it allows her to really show her powerful range. It’s a fabulous choice of song and is given justice with Dannielle’s equally just as fabulous performance. 

Scott Coltman leaves us in hysterics (once again) with his hilarious rendition of Victoria Wood’s renowned sketch ‘The Ballad of Freda & Barry’. Scott’s comical skill here is genius, his performance of both Freda & Barry is high energy with a great contrast between the two characters. The re-written components also fit in very well and do not take away from the original source. This is another great sketch delivered by Scott. 

We then have Evie Rose Lane perform an exquisite rendition of ‘Natural Woman’ by Aretha Franklin. This is a fantastic stripped-down performance, with Evie’s vocals being the leading light. Her vocal skill and energy are truly remarkable. This is definitely one of the best covers of this song I have ever heard. Evie showcases unbelievable talent here. 

To finish off this showcase we then have two stupendous performances by the company. First up we have a lovely performance of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis Presley. The harmonies at the end were the first time I had heard an ensemble perform in such a united manner since being in a theatre. Truly remarkable work in co-ordination from the ensemble and Tommie Travers. The final performance is ‘Shut Up & Raise Your Glass’ from ‘Moulin Rouge the Musical’. This is a fun and uplifting finale to a truly great production. 

Once again, I find myself overjoyed at the talent showcased from BBD Productions. They are doing such a great job at raising funds for Acting for Others, while also entertaining those of us who are desperate for some theatre in our lives. This production is flawless, featuring an incredibly talented company, with great choices of music and it’s all put together to an incredibly high standard. Make sure to pour yourself a wee drink and watch Big Band Does… Valentine’s. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Watch Big Band Does… Valentine’s below:

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