Review of The Barricade Boys – Christmas Cabaret – 5 Stars


The Barricade Boys – Christmas Cabaret

The Other Palace

Reviewed – 7th December 2017


“well-structured variety of songs, brilliant performances, plenty of laughter and moments of impacting emotion”


This is indeed a luxurious evening of festive favourites (and more) at The Other Palace. Complete with a glittering tree, log fire and cosy lighting, the golden, glowing atmosphere makes one feel as if The Barricade Boys are performing their Christmas Cabaret in one’s own sitting room. Four remarkable voices (Scott Garnham, Simon Schofield, Kieran Brown and Craig Mather) blend together and complement each other, singing a selection of Christmas tunes as well as a choice of pop, rock and show songs. The intimate setting of The Studio allows informal interaction with the audience between numbers, but the professional attention to detail is never lost and they sing with flair, accuracy and emotion.

The vocal balance, the intonation in complex harmonies and the slick presentation are of such a high standard that the easiness is deceptive, even in the organised chaos of their special version of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. Precision can be unforgiving in small venues but The Barricade Boys sing with impeccable ensemble. With the appearance of a different guest artist every evening (last night being the talented Michael Xavier) they journey from the energy of ‘Johnny Be Good’ to the foot-tapping of ‘Let It Snow’, through to ‘I Dreamed A Dream’.

There are many beautiful and clever arrangements by Musical Supervisor, James Doughty, balancing the singing lines and allowing each to shine. Noam Galperin – Musical Director – sits discreetly at the piano, accompanying the whole evening in a marathon of a programme. The members of the group are linked by their involvement in Les Miserables which, presumably, is where their name came from; the Barricade Boys were a fictional group of revolutionary students who appear in the story. All four actors have prolific careers on stage, television and film, and the years of experience is manifest in their relaxed, yet composed, demeanor and their versatility. This Christmas show was a wonderful addition, by established actors, to The Other Palace’s Development Programme, set up to discover, explore and create the musical theatre genre.

It is an evening of thorough enjoyment for the audience and seemingly also for the group, with the slight risk of occasional ‘in’ moments. However, ‘Bring Him Home’ cast a magical spell over the audience and it is hard not to join in the ‘Party Medley’, which puts it all into perspective. This is a Christmas Cabaret of well-structured variety of songs, brilliant performances, plenty of laughter and moments of impacting emotion – an intoxicating way to get into the Christmas spirit.


Reviewed by Joanna Hetherington 


The Barricade Boys – Christmas Cabaret

is at The Other Palace until 23rd December



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