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1st December 2017 for the Nottingham Post

It is a delight to see the return of conducting supremo John Wilson to Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, complete with his uber-talented orchestra and, this year, a new show ‘A Celebration of the MGM Film Musicals’.

 

A firm favourite with this Nottingham crowd, Mr Wilson was warmly welcomed, announcing “it’s great to be back at our favourite concert hall in the Country” before launching straight into a toe-tapping overture featuring some of the best music from the Golden Era of Hollywood musicals.

The evening’s songs took us from High Society to Easter Parade, with some mellow tunes from MGM classics including ‘The Pirate’ thrown in for good measure. The multitude of strings in the orchestra were once again enhanced by the silky voice of soloist Matt Ford and the belting tones of Louise Dearman and the addition of the John Wilson Chorus really took things up a notch this year: according to the chap sat next to me, the music was even ‘better than the original’.

John Wilson doesn’t talk much – he doesn’t have to when the incredible arrangement of the music speaks for itself. He pops up every now and again with a witticism, a piece of information about the next tune, or a reminder that tour CDs are available to buy in the foyer but it’s all relevant and served up with good humour.

There were so many highlights this evening but Louise and Matt singing ‘Anything you can do I can do better” from ‘Annie Get your Gun’ deserves special mention, with Louise hitting some very high notes! This was closely followed by the spectacular ‘Broadway Melody Ballet’ and ‘Applause, Applause’, which was the perfect hand-clapping finale and fully merited the standing ovation it received.