Don't let their society name fool you - The Vagabonds were certainly at home singing songs on stage by American lyricist Stephen Sondheim when they presented a collection of his best-loved hits in their latest showcase, Ladies Who Lunch, at St Cuthbert's Church. The production was an intimate and informal celebration of Songheim's colourful female characters and it made for a relaxed and entertaining evening.
With their brilliant vocals and vibrant presentation, the talented cast proved exactly why the composer has picked up accolade after accolade over more than half a century of a career, including an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and a Laurence Olivier Award.
Songs were chosen from the likes Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Follies, Company and many more, creating a varied and dynamic show full of laughter, charm and moving moments.
A strong team of soloists presented the tracks effortlessly, pulling off a variety of accents, from New York to London cockney. Applause must therefore go to performers Rachel Barrowclough, Judith Briscall, Abigail Cowburn, Julie Cummings, Helen Flack, and Hayley Reid.
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With his easy charm, Mick Dawson was on hand to glue both the solo and group pieces together as both singer and narrator, and accompanist John Smith played beautifully on the keyboard.
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