GIG REVIEW: Nathaniel Morrison via Leave A Light On

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Livestreaming via Leave A Light On courtesy the Theatre Cafe

WHEN: (matinee) 30/3/20

What do you do when you can’t go to the West End? Stay home, switch on your wifi and let it find you.

  • Read on for reasons including details of performances by stars including Cassidy Janson and Layton Williams

For £7.50 per viewer per 45-minute show West End stars including Layton Williams (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,  Apollo), Cassidy Janson (& Juliet, Shaftesbury Theatre) and Lucie Jones (Waitress, Adelphi) have already performed as part of this concert series to help those in self-isolation as well as earning a wage for themselves while the West End is in lockdown.

We’re here not because we’re fans of Morrison’s, although we’ll certainly look out for him in the future after an enjoyable 55 minutes in his company, but because we like the idea of Leave A Light On, an initiative using technology to summon up the joy of the best piano bar you’ve ever been to.

The most fun is during the finale when fine pianist Kris Chase Byrne suggests Morrison channels his inner diva: ‘Am I diva folks? I’m a good kind of diva.’

He dedicates a thrilling, no holds barred performance of And I’m Telling You to his Waitress co-star Marisha Wallace and it slays everything before it.

Things start tentatively with Morrison centre stage behind a microphone in front of an exposed brick wall with socially distanced pianist Byrne what appears to be a safe two metres from him: ‘Is anybody watching? I hope you are and I hope you are enjoying it.’

It must be odd for a West End performer to be giving it his all in front of an imagined audience. ‘It’s very strange, very surreal not having people here,’ he observes. A slightly unhinged version of Under The Sea is followed by the remark: ‘Look at you chilling’ on your sofas, living your best lives, while I’m shouting at you.’

He reminisces about working with Trevor Nunn on Porgy And Bess in 2007 ahead of an enchanting Summertime and about playing Steve Wonder in Dancing In The Streets before an entertaining Superstition. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On? is a very apt choice.

He’s clearly still emotional about his time on Waitress and his version of A Soft Place To Land from the show is the emotional heart of this gig.

‘I hope your light is on and that it stays on,’ he says echoing the theme of these concerts. We weren’t expecting to enjoy this one quite so much as we did.

Coming up later in the week are performances from two more of our favourites: Jordan Luke Gage and Daniel Boys. Here’s the rest of the week two itinerary. Leave A Light On is a beacon of hope and escape during extraordinarily darktimes. Don’t be afraid to let it illuminate your lives.

A question for those involved: is there any way to watch up some of these shows again? We missed several we’d love to catch up on.

  • Picture courtesy Lambert Jackson Productions. Tickets
  • Have you seen this show? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

 

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