Joanne and I recently attended the “STARS OF THE WEST END SING THE ROCK MUSICALS” concert at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa on 28 April 2019. The show was produced and presented by British Theatre Playhouse in association with Worldwide Entertainment, and saw four (4) leading West End casts all the way from London perform a medley of favourite anthems from smash-hit musicals in which they were the leading stars.
The cast comprising internationally-renowned and highly-accomplished stars of British musical theatre namely Ricardo Afonso, Carole Stennett, Shona Lindsay and Mike Sterling, performed iconic and legendary songs from highly acclaimed musicals like “We Will Rock You” (Queen), “Thriller – Live” (Michael Jackson), “The Bodyguard” (Whitney Houston), “Tina: The Musical” (Tina Turner), “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Dreamgirls and Mowtown: The Musical”.
Ricardo’s performed a few numbers by Queen from West End’s smash-hit musical, “We Will Rock You”, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We are The Champions”, “We Will Rock You”, and “I Want To Break Free”. One of Ricardo’s highlight of his singing career was when he fronted the cast of the musical “We Will Rock You” in the opening of the handover ceremony for the Olympic Games 2012, live on BBC1 and in front of Buckingham Palace.
According to Cecilia Leong-Faulkner, Founder Chairman, British Theatre Playhouse Malaysia, “We are introducing songs from the award-winning film, Bohemian Rhapsody with Ricardo Afonso singing Freddie Mercury – Ricardo was the lead (Galileo) in “WE WILL ROCK YOU”, a rock musical based on the songs of British rock band Queen directed by Ben Elton in the West End. It is a dream to have four leading stars of the West End to perform on the same stage.”
Stepping into the roles of Whitney Houston and Tina Turner in this Medley of Musicals with pitch perfect performances mirroring these legendary Divas will be Carole Stennett. Carole will be belting out songs such as Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, “Proud Mary” as well as Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, “One Moment In Time”, among many.
The show also featured songs from all-time musical theatre hits such as “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables”, performed by Mike Sterling who played The Phantom and Shona Lindsay who played Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End.
“STARS OF THE WEST END” has toured extensively, playing in theatres and other venues across the UK and Europe since 2011. Highlights include a concert at London’s Cadogan Hall in 2014 and an exclusive performance at the Louvre in Paris in 2015. It is a regular fixture at The Mill at Sonning near Reading in the UK, although the leading stars themselves have performed in all corners of the globe.
In the effort to bring this internationally acclaimed West End sensation to Malaysia, British Theatre Playhouse is proud and thankful to be working with Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa as the show’s host and venue. “Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa’s partnership with British Theatre Playhouse will help amplify and augment Sunway City’s destination appeal as a creative hub, which starts with immersive musical productions such as this, and paired with seamless integration of Malaysian hospitality, diverse cuisine, amazing retail and leisure facilities,” says Mr Roger Marcz, Cluster General Manager of Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa. In addition to this, British Theatre Playhouse will also collaborate with Sunway Education Group in a workshop with the West End casts for their performing arts students and lecturers that will be taking place on the 29th April.
“We aim to entertain, and in the process, we also hope to stimulate young theatre audiences who may well be tomorrow’s actors, writers, directors. We enjoy making a contribution in this area; it makes the challenges of producing it worthwhile,” adds Cecilia.
Continuous support and contributions from British Airways, British High Commission and British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce to British Theatre Playhouse have also been instrumental in making this show possible as well as past shows a success in Malaysia. To show British High Commission’s unwavering support, the new British High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Mr Charles Ray, continued as Patron of British Theatre Playhouse and attended the show.
On a benevolent side, the production also supported and helped to raise funds for charity in aid of GIVE MALAYSIA (Persatuan Amal Nasional 1Malaysia), an NGO that aims to contribute towards improving the lives of the less fortunate who are distressed and destitute in Malaysia through fund-raising campaigns that will help to alleviate human suffering. GIVE MALAYSIA in collaboration with British Theatre Playhouse is expected to raise funds of about RM30,000 from the sales of charity tickets to private and corporate contributors.
“GIVE MALAYSIA is proud to be collaborating with British Theatre Playhouse through “STARS OF THE WEST END SING THE ROCK MUSICALS” with charity in mind for the benefit of underprivileged families and marginalized communities in Malaysia. This collaboration will undoubtedly jumpstart our fundraising efforts for 2019 that will enable us to continue providing care and assistance for the deserving,” says Betty Anne Brohier, Founder of GIVE MALAYSIA.
“The unwavering support from all those who have come together to make the staging of “STARS OF THE WEST END SING THE ROCK MUSICALS” a reality in Malaysia will go a long way in giving Malaysians as well as musical enthusiasts in the region the opportunity to catch one of the most spectacular West End productions,” adds Cecilia. “STARS OF THE WEST END SING THE ROCK MUSICALS” is a celebration of legendary songs from current West End rock musicals and it promises to bring the audience to their feet! Not to be missed, indeed!
The songs performed that evening include:
Musical: We Will Rock You (Queen)
We Are The Champion
We Will Rock You
I Want to Break Free
Love of My Life
Don’t Stop Me Now
Who Wants To Live Forever
Kind of Magic
Musical: Beautiful (Carole King)
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
You’ve Got A Friend
One Night Only
Let’s Stay Together
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Musical: Thriller Live (Michael Jackson)
Man In The Mirror
Musical: The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston)
One Moment In Time
I Will Always Love You
I Have Nothing
The Greatest Love Of All
I Want To Dance With Somebody
Musical: Tina: The Turner Turner Musical (Tina Turner)
What’s Love Got To Do With It
Hopelessly Devoted To You
Musical: The Phantom Of The Opera
The Phantom Of The Opera
Musical: Les Miserables
Bring Him Home
For more info, head over to www.britishtheatreplayhouse.com
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