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Whitney –Queen Of The Night

Theatre Severn

Friday 3rd February 2017

If one is a regular at Theatre Severn you will know of the proud tradition of bringing the best of the tribute acts and shows that are working throughout Europe and the UK. Tonight was no exception and for most the spectre of Whitney Houston seemed to be back amongst her people singing her songs and making her music.

Had her career not spiralled through the extreme’s of  church to the sleazy crack dens then she might have been still making music today. However with great, great talent sometimes comes  a great price to pay. Whitney paid that ultimate price but tonight she was masterly recreated for the stage by Rebecca Freckleton.

A beautiful girl with a beautiful voice. She really did actually have them jumping in the aisles. These were real Whitney fans but how they loved Rebbecca. Maybe the audience was a little tougher on her in the first half as in the second but they wanted to make sure that the treasure’s that are Whitney’s songs were being presented with suitable polish. No one was disappointed on that score.

However it wasn’t a one woman show. Backed by a fantastically tight band, comprising of Keys, Five string bass, Saxaphones, Alto, Tenor and Soprano, drums and lead guitar. They made a fantastic show. There was a tightness than can only be achieved after long hard sessions in the rehearsal room.

It is hard to name the star of a band as they should all contribute equal parts for the final product. That said the audience did take a shine to the saxophomist Kit Mlynar. She worked so hard at her music station and bent those sweet soulful saxophone notes and sent them chasing around the theatre like silver birds. As if that wasn’t enough she also changed costume and joined in on some of the dances, never leaving however, her true place of responsibility. She was great.

As were the backing singers: Three wonderful  voices so natural and strong. Together they sounded amazing and solo all of them proved they had the calibre to sing Whitney too and what Paul Roberts Productions needs to do is to ensure he maintains  the services of these girls. Not only for this project but hopefully others in the future. Build it …they will come!

Whitney was always famous for putting in twenty notes when five would do. She goes up and down the scales faster  and more often than a busy window cleaner scales his ladder. However that creates a challenge for the choreographer. In this case it is Leona Marie. She hit the challenge full on and some of the moves  were almost Bob Fosse-esque. The devil is in the detail but it’s the details that lifts this show from just good to excellent. The dancing was great and added value on to the whole experience.

Whitney-Queen Of The Night is a strong show and begs the best performances from the incredibly talented and well-rehearsed  cast.  It happens!

As the show closed for a moment it was like being a child again. Everyone was up dancing and cheering. Rebbecca  Freckleton to the diehards was every bit as good as her alter-ego and she had the audience eating out of her hands. As the cast settle down tonight they may well be resting their ears. The cheering could have been heard at New Meadow.

This is a Four Star Review

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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