Sunday, April 23, 2006

Last Friday

I missed it when it was on in the West End although it might be more accurate to say that I just couldn’t be bothered going to see it as there was so much other theatre to see. Never the less it turned up on my doorstep last week so I popped along to see what all the fuss was about and that was how I came to spend Friday night sat in a small crowd watching Jerry Springer the Opera.

There had been some local news about a large number of protesters battling free speech at the entrance to the theatre earlier that week and there was obvious security in the foyer of the theatre but other than that there were few people milling around either outside or inside the theatre before the show and no visible sign of any dissatisfied protestors.

It a theatre which traditionally sells out musicals I was in a greatly reduced audience however they proved to be noisy enough; Both appreciative but also chatting all the way through the performance which suggested that this was not a usual theatre audience. Possibly a good thing however it seemed to be at the expense of a full house.

It started out entertaining enough as long as you remained unaffected by the barrage of expletives, however that was expected. JS the Musical would have to have that type of content and operatically sung insults are really quite funny, well for the first fifteen minutes that is. It’s about then that you wonder where it is all going. As it happens I knew exactly where, it’s impossible not to know about the controversial themes of the second half.

That’s where it all fell apart for me. I could see the intent to entertain but couldn’t help feeling that the writers had produced a show with a solid beginning … and then that was that. From the 16th minute onwards it fell flat and struggled to find any ones feet again let alone a direction. The religious twist the second half takes seemed entirely aimed to offend and thus create its own publicity. That it certainly achieved.

I couldn’t help wonder if I would have been enjoying a touring production of Honk, Our House or any one of a number of good honest musicals yet to grace regional theatre, last Friday, if the vocal protestors had let the production burn out and sink into the ether and not remain a free and essential part of its marketing campaign.

I am still of the opinion that there was definitely a musical version of Jerry Springer possible but that just wasn’t it. (Although please don’t think I’m suggesting anyone tries again).

I think this is one of those occasions when it is just possible that the Emperor may have a bundle of awards but he really does not have any clothes on. Not a stitch.

"You make me want to be a better fan"

The Bedford is an astonishing little discovery in Balham, right near the overland and underground stations. An interesting venue with good food and the most amazing area for live music that you’ve ever seen in the back of a pub! The performance area is a scaled down version of the Globe Theatre complete with balconies and staged area. It certainly is a well kept secret, hidden in South London. Another bonus is that their Thursday night Live @ The Bedford is completely free. Book a table in advance, order your food early and sit back and watch a range of talent that is unprecedented. It is in this arena that we see Laura on her third live gig of the week.

It is a friendly, intimate little venue with all the artists milling around between performances and a few famous faces dotted around. Julian Lennon was sitting just behind us as we watched Laura perform. There are five “new” artists billed tonight, although we had six plus the host, who also got his guitar out. But it’s that type of venue. Each of the main acts plays two songs and then after an interval they come back and play another two songs apiece. In the first half Laura is up last. She shows no signs of nerves as she sits and enjoys the other performances and then suddenly the spotlight is on her; it’s just her and the band. Opening with her great version of “Communication” she really gets the crowd going. Her voice fills the room and soars majestically through the track. It’s immediately obvious that she doesn’t need the backing singers that accompanied her on her first live outing back in freezing February. For her second track she changes the mood and launches into her current single, the self penned “There Was a Time”. It goes down a storm and she gets the biggest cheers of the night as she moves off stage.

Using the interval to try and get a feel for the public reaction I get talking to some fellow patrons in the queue for the Ladies loos. They are already enthusing about how wonderful Laura’s tracks were and how professional her performance was when I join them! It’s nice to hear other people appreciating Laura as much as we do!

More drinks in hand we settle down for the second half. All the artists are playing in a different order this time and to our delight Laura is up first. Her third track is the wonderful “Stumbling”, and once again she gets the audience going. Looking very relaxed, she has great stage presence and looks very at home being herself. Her final track is the rousingly upbeat “Sweet Solution”. It was written by Jamie Cullum for her and is a very energetic anthem that sees Laura bouncing all over the stage. It’s only the second time that we’ve heard it but it has a great hook and the words stay in your head. It’s a real sing a long song and I can’t wait for it to get a bit more exposure; a sure hit. Laura comes bouncing offstage to loud applause and cheers. She is a sensation! Again! Always! The non partisan crowd loved her; the partisan crowd love her anyway and were there because sometimes you just can’t get enough of a good thing.

Net and Geoff, 20th April 2006

Saturday, October 01, 2005

An International Superstar in the making... has been up for about a month or so (and of course I realise that the www bit means world wide web) but it is still amazing how many people around the world have found the site.
While it managed to get a full Google ranking this week it's only on page 10 of a Laura Michelle Kelly search; Yahoo have had it for a while but other than those you would struggle to find the site without following one of the few links available, such as, and Tims excellent Yahoo group yet so far visitors from the following countries have passed by;

UK (loads), USA (all over and nearly as many visitors as the UK), Norway, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, France, Greece, Russia, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Unofficial web site for the Olivier Award winning actress Laura Michelle Kelly

This is the site I've been working on for a few months now although you would not believe it. Loads more to do but it's coming on nicely. This is the photo that the site was based around. I felt it was Laura as Laura.

Laura Michelle Kelly