Robert Meadmore: Love Songs

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Robert Meadmore brings his first solo cabaret to the Crazy Coqs. Read here to see what I made of it.

Robert Meadmore

Robert Meadmore

No stranger to the London stage, West End performer Robert Meadmore has created a new one-man cabaret show. He has appeared in various cabarets before, including Ivor Novello and the Great British Musical and a duet performance with Annabel Leventon, but this is his Crazy Coqs solo debut.

Opening his first number, Oh, What a Beautiful Morning off-stage and then standing to one side after entering, we are reminded without distraction of his mellifluous resonant voice, and his mischievous humour as he brings in more songs from Oklahoma into a medley.

Inspired by a youtube clip of Julie Andrews discussing songs about love, Meadmore presents a selection of favourite love songs, mostly drawn from musical theatre, from touching ballads such as If I Loved You and All the Things You Are to Celtic folk songs like If Irish Eyes Were Smiling.

Meadmore’s style is simple with few theatrics, choosing good songs and singing them well, all in ‘legit’ (classical) vocal quality. The variation in emotion is rendered by excellent phrasing, drawing meaning from the lyrics and good use of musical dynamics.

Notable numbers included Willow Wait For Me, a beautiful original arrangement and piano accompaniment by musical director and pianist Matthew Freeman of Amanda McBroom’s The Rose, and I Love a Piano, where Freeman was able to show more of his skills to great effect.

The stand-out medley, however, was a darker presentation of the little played When Your Lover Has Gone (E A Swan) and Richard Roger’s Spring is Here also chosen, we are told, by Freeman.

Meadmore’s patter is interesting and well delivered, with enough personal anecdote to keep us amused, with a good sprinkling of musical history of the songs.

This is without question a very enjoyable evening, well presented and a pleasure to listen to.  A suggestion for further development might be to construct the show in such a way as to signal a clearer change of pace in the 2nd half from the romantic 1st half, perhaps with some sardonic or spiky songs about love, or using a different genre. A stronger structure would add even more surprise and variety of emotion to the evening.

As it stands, the programme and Meadmore’s performance entertain throughout, with pace-changes integral to each half, good interjection of stories, humour and audience interaction, and he deserves to do well in this venture.

Fiona-Jane Weston

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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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One Response to Robert Meadmore: Love Songs

  1. Pingback: Jim Caruso’s Cast Party | Capital Cabarets And Shows Scene

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