West End On Sea originated in Brighton and have recently started performing in their new venue, Proud Cabaret. Proud Cabaret City is modelled on a 1920’s speakeasy and offers an evening of fine dining and entertainment of unrivalled prestige. The menu at Proud Cabaret offers a selection of beautifully cooked, gorgeously presented and deliciously tasting food with a vast list of fruity cocktails and alcoholic beverages. Not only that, the manager of the venue is friendly and bubbly! West End On Sea – aka The Follow Spot in London – began their spring season kicking off with the legend that is Anna-Jane Casey, before having Hannah Jane Fox and Julie Atherton. The Follow Spot will have West End stars coming to perform at the Proud Cabaret every other Sunday until the end of April; and with today being Mother’s Day, having the heart throb that is Daniel Boys perform was a very clever move by West End On Sea due to the sheer amount of Mother’s in the crowd!
During his career, Boys has accrued some impressive credits! In 2001 he won a Cameron Mackintosh scholarship to study at the Guildford School of Acting, where he graduated with a BA (Honours). Shortly after that, he was in the UK’s first touring production of RENT understudying Mark and Angel, followed by playing Morino in the 2002 Sunset Boulevard UK tour as well as playing Roger in Grease. He was then promoted to the role of Mark in the 2006 European Tour of RENT, before winning the hearts of the nation – primarily women of a certain age – on the Any Dream Will Do television program in 2007. Before swiftly moving onto leading Avenue Q in 2008 for two years meanwhile releasing his debut album So Close in 2009 consisting of a brilliant amalgamation of musical theatre and pop songs, to name a few of his achievements.
Boys began the night with the classic of Saturday Night At The Movies, which set the tone for the evening, prior to explaining that tonight was going to be a night of songs from the movies because he ‘wanted to have a theme’ and to do songs ‘people will know’. Which people clearly did as the vast majority of the mums and grandmothers(!) were up dancing on their feet for Boys’ swinging Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and throughout the cabaret. Boys’ vocal control throughout the evening was incredible. The range of colours and qualities he showed the audience were exquisitely chosen to complement the array of songs he selected for his cabaret. My only minor, and I mean ONLY minor uncertainty of the night was, should Boys have selected so many ballads? That said, the variety of songs ranging from Disney songs, to 007 themes, to swing jazz music, to musical theatre songs were all performed with stunning acting and easy vocals. Boys’ charismatic and charming personality oozed out of him from start to finish. He was exceptional at engaging all areas of the audience both when performing his set list and delighting the audience with cute and comical anecdotes, as all anecdotes at cabarets should be. Daniel Boys is probably one of the easiest reviews I have ever had to write. He was such a joy to watch and it was a joy to write about.
The evenings support acts were also very talented. The compare of the evening, Jess Robinson, started the evening with the game ‘The Wheels of Sixty-Four Tunes’ which was a brilliant ice breaker. As the show continued and more games were played the hilarity and talent of Robinsons impressions were thoroughly showcased. Following Robinson was the second support act of the evening, Katie Paine. Paine opened strongly with a joint song of Sooner Or Later by Sondheim combined with The Man That Got Away, before closing her set with a fiery performance Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie. The third support act of the night, Sooz Kemper, stunned the audience with her stand up comedy act Nancy Spratt, a West End legend who knows all the tricks of the trade and all the people you need to know getting howls of laughter from audience members.
Standout moments from this evenings cabaret are Boys’ renditions of Thunderball, demonstrating the power in his voice, Maria for gorgeous acting – and one particular crescendo over his break that was gorgeous – and last but by no means least Crazy Life because it’s his mums favourite song and it was a gift from him to her on Mother’s Day and an excellent choice of song for an encore.
Reviewed by Thomas Yates
Next up in the Follow Spot cabaret season, on 29 March, is Sophia Ragavelas and Zoe Curlett. Click here for more information.