Bryan Batt: Batt On A Hot Tin Roof

Bryan Batt

Mad Men actor Bryan Batt makes his London cabaret debut at The Crazy Coqs in a tribute to New Orleans, his home town, originally conceived as a benefit show after Hurricane Katrina.

Bryan Batt

Bryan Batt

“..very funny..acting through song..especially effective”

Bryan Batt is perhaps best known here for his portrayal of Salvatore Romano in the television series Mad Men.  He has appeared on numerous stages in New York and his native New Orleans in shows such as Jeffrey, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Starlight Express, Sunset Boulevard, La Cage Aux Folles and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Batt On A Hot Tin Roof is the latest incarnation of his first foray into cabaret, having been approached to create a benefit show following the disaster that befell his home town in 2005 in the form of Hurricane Katrina. Appropriately, the material covers songs about New Orleans and New York, where the first version of this show was staged.

The first thing to say about Bryan Batt is that he is very funny. Much of the humour is in his madcap patter on life and relationships, and there are twists and surprises in the songs as well, most notably in “Sensitive Song” (O’Keefe and Benjamin) and “Way Ahead of My Time “(Pete Mills).

He has a very pleasing voice, particularly for more (genuinely) sensitive numbers such as “Unusual Way” from Nine and Craig Carnelia’s “What You’d Call A Dream”, but for me the stand-out song was the second half of the Burt Bacharach medley “Wives and Lovers/This Guy’ s in Love”.  Here, the acting through song, whilst still keeping down the fourth wall between artist and audience, so necessary in cabaret, was especially effective.

Beautifully accompanied by James Church, the show is well balanced with good song choices, varied change of mood, and Batt also moves well. Combine these elements with an attractive stage presence, zany and unexpected jokes and we have a recipe for success. If he is able to return to London, try to catch him – it’s a fun night.

Fiona-Jane Weston

About Fiona Jane Weston

I am Fiona-Jane Weston and as well as being a performer myself (see website), I write reviews of and features on shows, mainly on the London cabaret and theatre scene. I have worked in theatre for many years, but decided to embark on a new direction in cabaret in 2009, when I produced 20th Century Woman: The Compact Cabaret. Not wanting to neglect my love of spoken word, particularly drama and verse, I made the conscious decision to include these elements in the programme, as well as wonderful songs, to tell the story of women's changing status and preoccupations throughout the 20th Century and up to now. I was invited to audition for the renowned Cabaret Conference at Yale, run by the late legendary Erv Raible, and that was thrilled to be one of only 26 accepted that year, where I was taught by the masters of the genre. Amanda McBroom (composer of the Bette Middler hit "The Rose" and the poignant "Errol Flynn"), Laurel Massé, original member of Manhattan Transfer, Sally Mayes, Tony Award nominees Sharon McNight and Tovah Feldshuh, and New York cabaret veteran Julie Wilson were all on the faculty. We were also treated to the musical direction of Alex Rybeck, Hubert Tex Arnold and the now late Paul Trueblood. With the benefit of their insightful teaching and great encouragement, I took my show to The Duplex in New York, where I was delighted with the response. Since then, I have produced Loving London: The Capital Cabaret, using the same format of songs, poetry and drama, in various London venues, including Leicester Square Theatre and The Crazy Coqs. 2014, the centenary of World War 1, saw the launch of Wartime Women: the Khaki Cabaret to a sellout house at St. James Theatre, London, garnering great notices, including from The Times and Musical Theatre Review. I have since been touring the show to Belgium and throughout the UK. I hope these reviews and interviews entertain and educate at the same time, and if please do leave comments in the box. It's great to engage in a conversation about the Arts. Fiona-Jane Weston
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2 Responses to Bryan Batt: Batt On A Hot Tin Roof

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