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CD Review: RE:ARRANGEMENT by Nick Barstow

CD Review: RE:ARRANGEMENT by Nick Barstow Last week saw the release of new album RE:ARRANGEMENT, on which well-known musical theatre songs have been reinvented to give them a new identity. The eight-track CD features some incredible voices, including Noel Sullivan, Faye Tozer and Matt Terry.

The project began as a cabaret, conceived by director Kirk Jameson and musical arranger Nick Barstow, who also sings on the album. Several of the cast have recently returned from Royal Caribbean's Stages: Floating Festival, where they performed some of the material for avid musical theatre fans.

As a starting point, there is a great variety of songs on the album, but if anything, I wanted more! Eight numbers just wasn't enough for me. It is so refreshing though to hear popular musical theatre songs performed in a different way, as you can get so brainwashed by one particular version.

What each track on the album has in common is that the stripped-back versions put the lyrics in the spotlight, and I feel like I finally heard some of the songs properly. My highlight is "With One Look" performed by the sensational Alice Fearn, and it is probably the number that is furthest away from the Sunset Boulevard original. Some of the emotion has perhaps been lost, but the jazzy vibe is genius.

I was extremely impressed by the a cappella harmonies between Noel Sullivan, Andy Coxon and Nick Barstow in "Fixer Upper" from Disney's Frozen. Whilst this begins with a piano accompaniment, a large bulk is purely vocal, so bravo for this.

It is also lovely to hear a male vocal from Andy Coxon on "I Don't Know How To Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, whilst Kelly Mathieson brings her Scottish banter to Oklahoma's "People Will Say We're In Love", with comedic incidental dialogue between the lyrics.

A great concept, well-executed. Bring on RE:ARRANGEMENT Volume 2!

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Shakespeare's Globe has announced the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Elle While (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2019; As You Like It, Hamlet, 2018).

HAMNET To Transfer To The West Ends Garrick Theatre This Autumn Photo
The stage production of Hamnet will transfer direct to London's Garrick Theatre this autumn after selling out ahead of its world premiere at the newly restored Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon this April.  

McIntosh, Hamilton-Amos & Campbell to Star in BIG AUNTY Photo
Midlands-born performers Alexia McIntosh and Kieran Hamilton-Amos will join Belgrade Theatre Creative Director Corey Campbell in BIG AUNTY, directed and devised by Campbell.

Photos: See Adjoa Andoh & More in Rehearsals for RICHARD III Photo
Check out rehearsal photos of Rose Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres' Richard III starring Adjoa Andoh.

From This Author - Jenny Ell

Jenny is a freelance stage manager, having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2010. Professional work includes: Wicked (UK tour), Our House & Merrily We Roll Al... (read more about this author)

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