dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Clarke Peters – Songs I Love to Sing review at The Pheasantry London

Dizzie Gillespie meets Porgy and Bess, Louis Jordan and Nat King Cole. There is seemingly no end to the talent of Clarke Peters, a household favourite for his TV appearance in The Wire but equally as compelling a stage presence with a unique, deep vocal tone that is able to wrap itself round a song like a hand-tailored glove.

From Chicago to Sondheim and going all the way back to his first West End appearance in Bubbling Brown Sugar, Peters covers decades of material varying greatly in style in pace. However, it is the tongue-in-cheek tunes and comedy point numbers (Feed Me from Little Shop Of Horrors) he seems most at home with.

Stumbling through a wordy Razzle Dazzle, Peters wings his way through various lyric conundrums – but we forgive him as he charmingly looks us straight in the eye and simply moves on to the next number. A last minute band cancellation meant he had to rejig things at the last minute, and pianist Paul Scofield stepped in as MD late in the day.

Reminiscing about his appearances in various hit musicals he saunters casually as if this were a Las Vegas lounge bar. Amusing tales of his leading ladies, talent cast evenings on tour (where the concept for Five Guys Named Moe was born) and personal touches relating to his family and New York background are all heartfelt – though long-winded.

“I have a tendency to ramble” Peters confesses and indeed, the song portion could do with some boosting. Throwing himself into a swinging finale, Jordan’s Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, Peters comes full circle. He is a rare breed of entertainer who succeeds as he simply sings the songs he loves to sing without adhering to any self-imposed limitations in the process.

Production Information

The Pheasantry, London, July 8-11

Creator/director/cast
Clarke Peters
Musical director/pianist
Paul Scofield
Producer
Barry Mishon
Running time
1hr 45mins

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
^