The Other Palace – until 28 December 2020
Reviewed by Claire Roderick
The Barricade Boys are back in London with their Christmas Cabaret – a fun-filled festive show that you just can’t help but love. With an onstage Christmas tree and the image of a roaring fire as a backdrop, Val Doonican would feel proud of these boys. Fully suited and booted like a slick 50s group, the audience is treated to familiar Christmas favourites like Let It Snow and Oh Holy Night alongside some of the Barricade Boys’ most popular songs and medleys. The inclusion of Motown, Blues Brothers and a ridiculously impressive rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody (it really shouldn’t work with just a piano and 4 voices, but when they’re this talented it’s sublime) alongside Les Mis classics gives the show a wonderful eclectic rhythm and sweeps you along on a wave of festive bliss.
Simon Schofield, Dougie Carter, Lee Honey-Jones and George Tebbutt are wonderful individually, but together their voices are magnificent. They all know how to work an audience, and their onstage chemistry is uplifting and infectious. The mickey taking between them throughout is refreshing, and any (tiny) mistakes are pounced upon mercilessly. Watching over them like a teacher trying not to laugh at his rowdy class is musical director and amazing pianist Noam Galperin.
A number of guest stars will appear on various dates, but none was scheduled to appear on the evening I attended. Instead Hunter from Gladiators was dragged up to join in with the fantastic Les Mis version of The 12 Days of Christmas. Cue lots of ribbing about having a human barricade (he’s HUGE!) as the boys went full-on panto dashing around to sing their verses in the correct order.
This is a gem of a show – festive fun and heavenly music mixed for a perfect Christmas cocktail.
11 Dec – Zoe Rainey
13 Dec – Oliver Ormson
14 Dec (evening) – Emma Kingston
16 Dec – Camilla Kerslake
18 Dec – Neil McDermott
19 Dec (matinee) – Joel Montague
20 Dec – Amy Lennox
23 Dec – Alice Fearn
27 Dec – Nadim Naaman
28 Dec (matinee) – Kieran Brown
Date TBC – Oliver Savile