|Daughter and Janie at the party afterwards|
This Theatre is an intimate space apparently a replica of the Bankside Theatre. Everyone is very close and the acoustics are perfect. Janie walked in through the central aisle singing a love song and pausing to address in the song ("you look tired, love! ") and hug a very happy member of the audience who was sitting next to the stage with his wife and daughter - and just in front of her husband and son.
The first part of her show was structured around telling us about their wonderful Globe Theatre tour of China, Singapore, HK, Taiwan and Russia last year.
A succession of wonderful numbers followed, including On a Clear Day and then Janie introduced her first guests, an amazing recorder group called Block4 who played a remarkable composition of theirs called Air Rise in which sounds were produced in almost every way you could (decently) use a recorder - initially blowing into the hole where the air normally passes the Labium rather than into the mouthpiece. Other numbers followed including a duet sung in Russian with one of the Globe touring company.
Janie then played and sung Imagine and concluded with a medley from Shakespeare-inspired Musicals:
- Falling in Love with Love from The Boys from Syracuse
- Strange, Dear, but True Dear from Kiss me Kate and
- Tonight, Tonight from West Side Story.
The second half Janie was in full fig as Elizabeth I and began with a naughty and imaginatiueve song called Private Delight written by two talented female singer/songwriters (Bea and Ali) who were also guesting. This was ostensibly about eating a chocolate ice cream on a stick. Janie eventually passed it to my daughter with the instruction "lick it" and then to me to consume, but after having made a show of doing so I passed it back to her son who devoured it. The song and the act brought the house down.
Block4 gave an Elizabethan medley first on traditional recorders and then on remarkable box-like contemporary recorders from Germany. Another song from Bea and Ali (My heart has made a secret room) and then the next guest: Kit Hesketh-Harvey! He told us of a production of The Tempest in Barbados in which he had been involved where Miranda was Kylie Minogue, and sung a song to Janie as Miranda. They then got us all doing Summer is a-coming in as a 4 part round.
Janie sang a Sondheim setting of Fear no more the heat of the sun - lovely - before introducing her final guest, the great Juliet Stevenson! She and Janie sang a Some Say Love it is a River as a duet beautifully - Janie afterwards revealed that this was the first time Juliet had sung on the London stage.
An altogether magical evening - sadly a one off but one I would not have missed for the world!