REVIEW: Collabro, Opera House, Blackpool

Musical theatre boyband Collabro
Musical theatre boyband Collabro
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There are shows and then there are shows.

This was a show.

The mighty Blackpool Opera House stage was, for one night only, a fitting venue for musical theatre singing quartet Collabro.

Opening was placed in the safe hands of British singer/songwriter, Philippa Hanna.

Her clever, original songs, self-accompanied on guitar and with husband on percussion, were performed in a Dolly Partonesque style, strongly influenced by a troubled past and rejections in the music industry, conveying a message of ‘belief in yourself’.

Soprano Carly Paoli excelled vocally as the special guest on this Home UK tour.

Her soaring tones filled the auditorium in both of her note-perfect sets.

The audience may have engaged more if her choice of songs had been more familiar.

But it was Collabro the large audience had come to see, and these four young men, Thomas Redgrave, Michael Auger, Jamie Lambert and Matt Pagan delivered to the max.

It was easy to see how hearts and fans have been captured on an international level.

There were some terrific musical moments, particularly Send in the Clowns and a moving Les Miserables medley, all interspersed by amusing banter.

This personable, well-costumed foursome were joined on stage by the cute and talented local youngsters of Clifton Academy to perform what must be the most poignant song in musical theatre, Bui Doi from Miss Saigon, followed by the haunting Circle Of Life from The Lion King.

The entire production was enhanced by elaborate lighting, interesting projected images and their excellent on-stage backing band under the direction of Fylde-based Ed Rugman.

A well-deserved rapturous standing ovation was the reward.

Another outstanding triumph for the enterprising Lytham Festival team of Cuffe and Taylor, who also manage the former Britain’s Got Talent winners.