“Recreating original West End/Broadway musical hit songs with amazing authenticity, this cast of past principal performers from Les Miserables present a blockbusting two hour show and is now established as the nation’s favourite musical theatre concert.”
Beyond the Barricade is a UK show that doesn’t shy away from delivering ballsy and intense musical theatre hits by the bucket load. Each song is carefully chosen to delight the audience and also open its eyes to upcoming shows in the West End – including Hamilton which comes to the Victoria Palace Theatre in November 2017.
I saw BTB on a lazy Sunday, and the combination of theatre classics, lesser known songs and awful jokes were the perfect antidote to a drizzly autumn night. If I’m honest I was a little disappointed by the opening number, which may have been due to my lack of familiarity with Miss Saigon. The show went on to deliver smash hits from Blood Brothers, The Lion King, Chess, Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera and many more besides, which were all just phenomenal. Although I have never had the pleasure of seeing Jesus Christ Superstar on stage, one of my favourite sections of the evening was hearing the heart-breaking rendition of “Gethsemane (I only want to say)” which left me shedding a few slightly hung-over tears!
All the performers were utterly breath-taking but I particularly adored the creative energy of the wonderful Andy Reiss. His raucous and slightly awkward “master of the house” landlord character was just spectacular and really brought the evening to life. I also massively enjoyed the vocal talent of Katie Leeming, who spoke to my inner heroine all night long. The set wasn’t much to speak of, but the lighting and live band were extremely complementary in their considered simplicity. It’s rare to be truly entertained by four people pretty much static on stage for 2.5 hours, but Beyond the Barricades managed it beautifully. I had forgotten how much I adore theatre, performance and musicals, and how we are never too old to lose ourselves in fantasy and fairytale… A wonderful evening, although I now have an overwhelming desire to hop on the next train to London and indulge in as many musicals as I can for the remainder of 2017! (Fine by me, but we will see what the bank balance has to say!)