In my eyes Hadley Fraser is one of the most talented songwriters in the world of musical theatre. So the chance to see him perform some of his own material live on stage was just too good to miss out on. “An Evening with Hadley” Fraser took place at St. James Theatre on October 28th and featured Hadley (obviously) and his guest singers Rosalie Craig and Craig Mather.
Craig Mather is currently starring as Marius in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre and he is definitely an extremely talented singer and musician. I hadn’t heard any of his own songs yet and I am pleased to report that the boy has another talent I didn’t know of so far: Songwriting. I’m sure we’ll hear more from this young man in the future.
Hadley himself performed a mix of his own material and some covers and I am happy to say that there couldn’t have been better song choices for this wonderful evening. Some of you will only know Hadley as a musical theatre performer (he recently played Javert in Les Miserables to rave reviews and you can catch him as Raoul on the Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary DVD). But there’s more to Mr. Fraser than “just” a fantastic voice and great acting talent. He is also an extremely gifted songwriter and musician – watching Hadley on stage playing the guitar while singing his own song is such a complete treat! He really puts his heart and soul into his music.
Personal favourites of the evening have to be “Heading West”, “Big Love’s Small” and “Driftwood” (the Sheytoons fan in me did a little jump for joy as soon as the song started). Plus I absolutely adored “Again” which has to be one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs ever written. It was great to have the composer of this fantastic song, Scott Alan there to accompany Hadley on piano. “River Take Me” (by Darrell Scott) was another highlight of the evening – such a powerful song performed beautifully by Hadley.
Rosalie Craig provided some wonderful backing vocals and treated the audience to a stunning version of Tori Amos’ “Baker Baker”. I have adored Rosalie’s voice ever since I first saw her on stage in Lord of the Rings (a show that will always have a special place in my heart). She’s one of those performers that will completely draw you into a song. She’s never just singing the lyrics, she is telling a story and you can’t help but be completely in awe of her performance. On a side note: Rosalie will be playing the lead in a new play at the National Theatre next year – something I am really looking forward to.
It was great to see such a wide mix of songs, from ballads, to uptempo songs to some good old bluegrass (again, I love myself a bit of Sheytoons). Hadley, his band and guests appeared to have the best time. There was great music, there were brilliant voices, there was banter and there were laughs (the highlight being a rather rude but funny discussion between Scott Alan and Matt Lucas who was in the audience that night) – all in all “An Evening with Hadley Fraser” was everything I had hoped for and more. I urge you to watch out for more gigs of the talented Mr. Fraser in the future. And generally make sure to check out his music – hopefully we’ll get the chance to buy his first solo album in 2013.
I’ll stop rambling now and will just let pictures speak. Below is my little photo gallery of the evening. As always, please don’t use these pictures anywhere else without asking. Thank you.
For some great videos of Saturday’s gig (27th October) check out Blue Eyed Girl’s Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkMYAxrbhrQWcyjRuLxVyFw.
And last but not least: The set list of the night. Big thanks to Tom Deering for sending this over to me!
Listen to the music
Big love’s small
River take me (Hadley and Nick)
Baker Baker (Rosalie and Tom)
Just let go (Hadley and Sonya)
Herne & the red kite
On Constellation Street (Hadley)
Nureyev of SE19 (Hadley)
Take me away (Hadley)
Again (Hadley and Scott)
How many times