An afternoon in Hyde Park in June. When I booked my tickets for the Jubilee Family Festival several weeks ago I was imagining a sunny day out, a picnic and good music. What I did get was good music and a partly sunny Saturday. We had already cancelled the picnic with one look at the weather forecast. And sadly the forecast was spot on for the Sunday – the weather was in one word dreadful!
But lets not moan about some rain and concentrate on the pure awesomeness that was happening on stage instead. First of all there was Ramin Karimloo who treated the audience to two songs from his album: “Show me light” and “Music of the night”. And whilst it would have been nice to hear a few more songs it was great to see Ramin perform in Hyde Park in front of such a big audience. I do admit I’m not completely convinced he fit in though since the event was advertised as a family day and most people (families) were waiting for the Disney concert to start which was the big header of both days. But then the reaction to his appearence was quite enthusiastic and the audience seemed to love him (even the young girls next to me who asked themselves “Who is he??” when Ramin went on stage.
Still, the Disney concert was definitely the real highlight of the weekend. Due to the weather I only watched it on the Saturday – as much as I enjoyed it I just couldn’t bring myself to standing in the pouring rain all that time and so I left after Ramin’s performance on Sunday.
If I had to sum up the concert in one sentence I’d put it like this: All time Disney favourites performed by a couple of amazingly talented West End / Broadway singers. It was such a delight to see the wonderful Sierra Boggess on stage again. She created the role of Arielle on Broadway and it was a dream come true to hear her sing the title song from that show live on stage. It was obvious how much fun Sierra was having – she was like a kid, dancing with Baloo and fooling around with the other Disney characters. I loved it!
I’ve seen Tee Jaye in Jersey Boys more times than I can remember. And although he is doing a great job in one of my favourite shows it was extra special to see him as a lead singer in this concert. That guy has got a seriously fantastic voice – can we please add a song for Barry in Jersey Boys so he can show it off in the show?! I particularly enjoyed his duet with Sierra: “I see the light” from Tangled and his “Under the sea” from The Little Mermaid.
Matt Rawle is probably the most charismatic performers I have ever seen on stage. It’s almost impossible to take your eyes off him and he always manages to make you feel like he is performing for you (and only for you). His “A whole new world” from Aladdin (with Joanna Ampil) was absolutely stunning.
Speaking of Joanna Ampil – I admit I had never seen her on stage before. And I obviously have been missing out. She’s got a beautiful voice and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. Sharon D Clarke has an awesome voice which never fails to amaze me. I have seen her in a couple of shows over the years and have never been disappointed. The same goes for this concert – she delivered a flawless performance.
Personally I enjoyed seeing all those talented performers on stage. I could imagine the younger children in the audience would have liked to see more of the Disney characters though. You could hear their excitement whenever Mickey, Baloo etc appeared on stage and with this being a family day it might have been good to let the characters have more appearances throughout the show. Not that I’m complaining – I love Disney but I love musical theatre more so the whole thing was fine the way it was for me.
My favourite “character” obviously has to be Jack Sparrow who got to do some proper pirate fighting. Plus I loved hearing the Pirates score being played live by a 60 piece orchestra!
All in all this was a great event and for 20 quid at a complete bargain price. Shame about the weather on Sunday but then that’s what can always happen at open air concerts.
To give all of you an idea of what you missed out on or – in case you were there – to remind you of this great weekend, here are some video clips and photos. Please don’t use them anywhere else without asking. Thank you.