I ♥ MUSIC

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY - I ♥ MUSIC *****

HERALD EXPRESS REVIEW by Paul Levie

There’s nothing we Brits like more than any kind of music – just look at the success of shows like The Voice, X-Factor, Pop Idol and Britain’s Got Talent.

But staring at a box in the corner is nothing like the Real Thing – a night at the theatre with top talent and glitzy glamour.

And the latest offering from Colin Matthew and the gang at the Babbacombe Theatre is live performance with a capital P.

What’s more, you don’t have to put up with all that yakkety-yak from Simon Cowell and David Walliams.

Five guys and five gals make up a terrific troupe who can belt out show-stoppers from Adele and Paloma Faith to Abba and Take That.

And when one of those guys is comic compere Andy Oakley there’s more than a smattering of smiles to lighten the mood.

And what’s more, after 40 years in the business Andy showed he has more than a fine singing voice himself.

First the girls:  Jodie Cooper – the only foreigner to get through to the finals of Chinese Idol in front of an audience of a billion!  Sami-Jane Slater who has become a huge Babbacombe favourite since her 2017 debut in Legends of the West End and recently got 4 yes’s on BGT.

Holly Cosgrove, whose rendition of Skyfall gave Adele a run for her money.  Lisa T Jordan, another Babbacombe favourite whose talent took her to the position of Entertainments Manager on P & O Cruises.

And finally Torbay’s own Hollywood superstar Lily Laight.

The chaps may not have matched them in the glamour stakes but vocally they were superb.

Paul Cobley and Wayne Martin gave a fabulous version of The Proclaimers  ‘500 miles’ while Barry Elmer and Josh Cousins are home-grown crooners with bags of talent.

Put them all together and you get a non-stop barrage of pop and ballads, show songs and rock classics.  The Matthews touch of genius is that they all become each other’s dancers, backing singers, and harmonies.

From slick start to fabulous finale this show rocks.  And the appreciative audience joined in with many of the songs.

But just in case you think it was all about the music, I’ll leave you with one of Andy’s gags.

‘Do you realise’, he said, ‘that if the two blokes in ABBA had been Steve and Dave, the group would have been called ASDA’.  Boom boom!

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 MID DEVON ADVERTISER REVIEW by Rose Howes 

Every time I attend a Babbacombe Theatre production I really think it’s a case of the show just can’t get any better, I am constantly surprised again and again when it surpasses what came before. 

And I ♥ Music is certainly no exception to this rule.

The production takes us through stage, screen and popular music and it’s a case of there being something for everyone as music again proves to be a universal language.

The show opens with The O’Jays classic soul tune, I Love Music from 1975, from there to the Scottish Highlands with the Proclaimers taking us on a trip of 500 Miles. 

Lily Laight returns, and is paired with Josh Cousins to perform, Only Us, from the relatively new stage production, Dear Evan Hansen. The music and lyrics by Benji Pasek and Justin Paul.  Pasek and Paul also wrote the music and lyrics for the stage adaptation of James and the Giant Peach. 

Even though you may not be able to name the song you will certainly recognise the songs, including Make Your Own Kind of Music by Paloma Faith but currently being used for a car advert.  

Sami-Jane who has been a regular on the Babbacombe stage since 2017, sings I’ll Never Love Again from the recent film, A Star is Born. Andy Oakley brings his own kind of humour and entertainment, near the end of the second half he does a performance of, I’ve Been Everywhere, originally written by Aussie Geoff Mack but made popular by Leslie William Morrison, known as Lucky Starr, an Australian singer, guitarist and television presenter. By the end of Andy’s performance, I was out of breath.  

Humour is also included with the lads Andy Oakey, Paul Cobley, Wayne Martin and Barry Elmer hamming it up big time with their version of, Ole Muck Donald. Hilarious does not even begin cover it. 

It’s a show that will run you through the gamut of emotions, so be prepared to laugh to cry and to have the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

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Review by the Marketing Consultant, A. Blackham for DEVON TOP ATTRACTIONS, 

I ♥ Music is really fantastic and totally exceeded all expectations I had.

I saw Andy Oakley some years ago and thought he was great then; he is a super comedian and a great entertainer. As for the singers, wow, what talent you have in the show. I was bowled over by the Skyfall, Adele song and so many of the others it’s hard to single anyone out. The show is a complete night of excellent entertainment and the audience all enjoyed it.  

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