REVIEW: Les Musicals – live concert tour @Theatre Royal

Brian Butler June 6, 2018

Rhydian Roberts and Jonathan Ansell are a powerful duo in the mould of Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, with the same magic formula of stunning singing ranges, humour and chemistry.

THIS songs from the shows compilation which came to Brighton as part of a national tour of one-nighters, is middle of the road stuff which musical theatre goers will all know, though there’s a notable absence of anything by Sondheim, Porter or the Gershwins.

What there is, is a heavy reliance on the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but Rhydian particularly ascends the heights of some Broadway greats like Showboat and South Pacific.

His opera-trained deep Welsh  baritone voice has a rich undercurrent which contrasts strongly with Jonathan’s pop/rock boy band falsetto. In the acting stakes Rhydian is way ahead, getting inside the characters of the parts but Jonathan has the boyish charm to carry off light material like Joseph’s Any dream will do as well as heavier dramatic material from Miss Saigon and Jesus Christ Superstar.

In the second part of the concert they amuse and amaze us by singing one line from each of 50 musical theatre songs in just three minutes and the happy clappy sing-along audience loved it.

Spookily they both came second in separate series of X Factor, Jonathan being in the 2004 series as part of G4 and Rhydian taking him as his inspiration to enter the contest three-years later in 2007.

Having split as frontman from the pop/opera crossover group G4, Jonathan now heads the re-formed group, and Rhydian has an equally multi-million selling set of records he can boast.

But their joining together is a truly inspired one and they clearly love performing together.

Les Musicals is on tour throughout June and October and will probably be back in Brighton next year.

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Reviewed by Brian Butler at Theatre Royal on Sunday, June 3.