Anything Goes! Magic of the Musicals

Anything Goes! Magic of the Musicals

The Elgar Concert Hall often plays host to student performers. As the jewel in the crown of the University of Birmingham’s music department, audiences can get their first glimpse of the stars of the future.

That’s certainly how it felt at Magic of the Musicals on 6th December 2018. The Guild Musical Theatre Group is so brimful of talent, expect to see some of these names up in lights again soon.


Events were kicked off by comperes Alistair Winning and Tash Llewellyn. Their upbeat banter and enthusiasm kept spirits high throughout. Tash was particularly strong as the gawky, over-invested ingenue, who ditched her Bramall steward’s uniform as the last-minute replacement for Elaine Page (all true, I’m sure).

The evening was packed with big hits and less familiar musical numbers in an eclectic mix, ideal for this kind of compendium show.

Musical Director Zoe Farrow made the most of an ensemble dominated by women, with some great vocal selections for groups. Rent’s classic Take Me or Leave Me, recent smash Dear Evan Hansen’s Waving Through a Window, and Sister Act’s Take Me To Heaven. Losing My Mind from Follies, performed by Phoebe Loveday-Raymond, Jessie Jarvis and Georgie Lockett, packed a particular emotional punch.


Soloists were just as impressive. Jessie Jarvis captivated the audience with Into the Woods’ Children Will Listen. Meg Russon’s Elphaba from Wicked was also a highlight – enhanced by dramatic purple and green lighting.

It wasn’t all about the women, however. Lenny Turner’s assured Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin from Oklahoma transported the crowd across the Atlantic, while Robert Sotillo was perfectly cast as Marius from Les Misérables.

All that jazz

Eclectic song choices were matched by creative direction from Cam Wilson.

The night offered a blend of concert-style performances, and more dramatic staging with character aplenty.

Helen Parsons and Thomas Kershaw Green brought the house down with the fun back-and-forth of Anything I Can Do from Annie Get your Gun – though Helen also stood out as a comic star in the Guys and Dolls comedy classic Adelaide’s Lament. Remember that name!

It was all backed up by a full band, who ably switched from keys and electric guitars to horns and strings.

With a packed auditorium filled with proud parents, fellow students and people who just love musicals, the atmosphere was buzzy throughout. And, of course, the Elgar Concert Hall’s acoustics and audiovisual technology made it all look and sound incredible.

Can you all come back again next year, please?

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