John Barrowman in concert review at Leicester Square Theatre, London – ‘wildly entertaining’
Seth Rudetsky began his Broadway @ Leicester Square Theatre concert series with Patti LuPone in 2013, then returned last year with Audra McDonald. In this format, Rudetsky interviews and accompanies a musical legend in a light-hearted, improvised chat show. The musician’s quirky, amiable presenting style, complemented by an encyclopaedic knowledge of Broadway, makes for some entertaining chit-chat – and actor, singer and presenter John Barrowman gives a great interview.
One of the biggest names to have emerged from British musical theatre in the last 30 years, Barrowman is now known as much for performances in Doctor Who and Torchwood as he is for Anything Goes! or Sunset Boulevard.
Still very much a musical theatre performer, Barrowman reveals himself as an indefatigable showman in this easy-going interview, serious about his art and oozing boyish charm. Vocals aside, it’s difficult not to get caught up in Barrowman’s energy as he speaks with touching honesty about his Scottish roots, his early career in musical theatre and the relationship with his many fans.
Taking this set-up at face value, Barrowman demonstrates an instinctive ability to sell a song. His arrangement of Loch Lomond is rooted in a deep love and respect for his homeland and The Doctor and I is his Stephen Schwartz-approved adaptation of The Wizard and I, created when he took on the role of Captain Jack Harkness. A surprise duet with Anita Louise Combe highlights the improvisational nature of the evening, but it’s lyrical ballads such as Marry Me a Little and I Made It Through the Rain that showcase Barrowman’s gutsy vocal style.