The curtains of our UK theatres have been closed for yet again, a month too long. While our costume wardrobes gather dust and the stages remained undanced on, Shanay Holmes opens the first concert of the Drive-In Musical, to remind us how ready we are for our Westend to return. Back in summer Holmes hosted the opening night, which is now available to stream, with limitless energy and stellar high notes. First of its kind, this Covid-friendly concert is jazzed up with a showbiz touch from Westend stars, musical hits and beeping car horns in exchange for standing ovations. As if this wasn’t already the perfect way to cheer up your lockdown evening, the whole event is a black-owned and black-produced company, helping to support the Black Lives Matter movement and underrepresented actors in the industry.
Westend stars that feature in this concert include Maiya Quansah Breed, Shan Ako and Layton Williams. Among them, they perform with a commitment to every note and keep the crowd (in their cars and at home) singing along with them. Quansah Breed owns the stage, singing Burn from Hamilton; Proud Mary from Tina and Almost There from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Layton Williams dances around the stage, reminding us of his musical talent, whilst performing some of his most iconic roles such as Angel in Rent. As if this wasn’t mouth-watering enough, Shan Ako blesses us with her presence too. She sings On My Own, She Used To Be Me and an original song from a brand-new EP, with richness in her voice and passion leading her through the songs.
Running at 1 hour 45, you can sing, dance and clap along to songs from Hamilton, Les Mis, Waitress and many more! The sound quality isn’t flawless, but then again, it is an outdoor streamed event, and this shouldn't stop you from supporting this wonderful event. Go and buy a ticket to the next streamed concert to support the artists and musicals that hold our Westend together.
A different concert will be made available to stream each week from Friday 19th February to Sunday 21st March via Stream.Theatre.
Review: Isabelle Tyner