Anne Reid: I Love To Sing


Anne Reid appears once more at The Crazy Coqs in a new solo show I Love To Sing. Wonderful anecdotes. Read my review here:


Anne Reid

This is the first show from Anne Reid that I have seen since seeing one of her very early attempts at cabaret about 2 years ago.

Since that time Reid has been having the time of the life, apparently, appearing Desert Island Discs, Who Do You Think You Are, receiving a MBE, and being bestowed the grand accolade of Pin-Up of the Year for The Oldie magazine. And, she has done a lot more cabaret.

The difference is very noticeable. Her ability to hold an audience shone from the start (see my review), but now there is a calm assuredness and relaxed demeanour that is a delight to see.

Tonight’s programme features an eclectic mix of songs, often surprising with no discernible theme, except perhaps many of them are songs she has loved for a long time and wanted to sing.

This new project provides the first opportunity for her to work with celebrated Musical Director and accompanist Jason Carr, who furnished her appropriately with a clever arrangement of Wanna Sing a Show Tune (Michael Feinstein), provided additional vocals and performed with her one of the standout items of the evening How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You, an amusing comment on the dynamics of the often delicate relationship between Musical Director and singer.

As well as a lovely rendition of one of Reid’s signature songs Errol Flynn (Amanda McBroom), there were comic numbers such as What Do We Do? We Fly!, about the difficulties of air transport, a medley of Rogers and Hart songs and some more wistful numbers looking back on her life, such as the spoken-sung Memories.

Reid’s singing, whilst not performed with a particularly strong voice or vocal technique, is clear with excellent diction enabling the story –line to flow, but the real strength of this show is the well-constructed, witty and intriguing links between the singing.

Her fascinating stories, such as being ferried about the world by young pilots when she was a young girl of 12, working with actor Daniel Craig, being bombed out of her home in the war and the capers of her fearless mother are both self-deprecating and funny and lead effortlessly into the songs, such as Once Upon A Time.

The show concluded with the charming title song I Love To Sing, and all in all, this is a nostalgic look at her life and career with highly engaging anecdotes and warm audience rapport.

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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