One night Cabarets are currently all the rage in London’s West End as performers old and new take their chance to showcase themselves, sings songs that they love and give high quality performances for fans at a fraction of West End prices. These Cabarets really do give new or young performers their chance to be ‘seen’ but more and more established West Enders are opting to take part. This is brilliant for theatre fans as they get a chance to get up close and personal with their favourite performers as well as giving them the chance to ‘follow’ new talent from the beginning of their careers. That kind of support is often not forgotten. However, with so much choice of what to go and see, how can you possibly decide?
Unsung Songs was set up by Brian McCann (an established performer himself) along with Jonny Metcalf and Lee Malcolmson. Their way of standing out among the Cabaret Crowds is to find songs that are mostly ‘Unsung.’ Their first outing was with a very successful night of Andrew Lloyd Webber music, featuring songs that had been hidden in the Lord’s bottom drawer for many a year. The teams latest production DIVA’s Unsungwill be performed at the Leicester Square Theatre, London on September 22nd. It will feature six of London’s best female performers; Ashleigh Grey, Rebecca Trehearn, Sarah French, Jennifer Potts, Kirby Lunn and Ambra Caserotti as well as a specially formed choir of students from the MTA Academy.
The show includes an interesting twist on the usual style that these shows take and will be hosted by James Barron (Les Miserables, Cats, Phantom) who will be sharing some of his own anecdotes and stories from a career spanning more than 25 years in the West End. One particular anecdote involving Brian Blessed must never be repeated on any social media! Musical Direction for the evening comes from James Doughty whose arrangements we have been promised will “Blow you away!”.
Caroline Fredricks met up with Brian McCann (producer) and featured performer Rebecca Trehearn to have a quick chat about what ‘DIVA’ means to them…
What does the word DIVA mean to you?
Rebecca: A diva is a woman at the top of her game; whose work is ambitious, ground breaking and heartfelt. I also think a true diva is supportive of her contemporaries; I really dislike the way the word is often associated with bad behaviour!
Brian: A diva is someone who commands a space and demands respect not necessarily because of who they are but what they’ve accomplished.
Who is your favourite DIVA?
Brian: As a male I’m going to pick a male diva and it would have to be a wonderful actor I was lucky to work with a few years ago, David Bedella, for the reasons I mentioned above. I constantly find myself asking ‘what would David Bedella do?’
Rebecca: Eva Cassidy
What is the most DIVA-ish thing you have ever done?
Rebecca: I guess flying out to NYC to sing at Birdland for a concert showcasing the work of Bobby Cronin, having recorded the title rôle on his new musical, “The Concrete Jungle” left me feeling pretty damn diva’ish!
Brian: Haha I once asked my dresser mod show to run to tesco and get me a bottle of wine as there was none In the fridge for after the show! In my defence I shared it with her!!
Naming no names, what is most DIVA-ish thing you have ever witnessed?
Rebecca: Ha! As I said, bad behaviour does not a diva make in my eyes, so I’m not about to associate any of the nonsense I’ve witnessed over the years with the word!
Brian: I’m going to say about anything I’ve witnessed… but… a very famous actress once said that you are allowed one diva strop per show, it should usually be before tech..
If you could be any DIVA for a day (alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Brian: Sinatra, No reason needed surely!!
Rebecca: Beyonce. She’s fricking amazing, looks like she’s having a ball and seems like a genuinely nice human being into the bargain.
What defines a DIVA song?
Brian: A song that grips you from the start and has you in tears by the end
Rebecca: I think it’s about a connection between the artist and the material. You can hit all the high notes in the world, but it’s just noise if you’re not really feeling it. I’d argue that the simplest of songs can become a diva number in the right hands.
What is the Ultimate Musical Theatre DIVA song?
Rebecca: Jesus, that’s hard! I’m going to go with the Diva’s Lament from Spamalot, as it so perfectly sends up the whole diva stereotype.
Brian: Being Alive!
DIVA’s Unsung – THIS Sunday (22nd September) at the Leicester Square Theatre at 9pm. Doors 8pm.
Running time: 85 mins (approx.)
Tickets: Tickets are £15 and can be bought at the theatre though advanced online booking is thoroughly recommended. To book online visit… http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/mobile/shows/873502281/events
Follow them on Twitter: @unsung_songs