Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Ramin Karimloo review at Leicester Square Theatre, London – ‘sweetness and intimacy’

Ramin Karimloo. Photo: Roberto Araujo
by -

Angel-voiced Ramin Karimloo always seems genuinely humble. It’s an incredibly endearing quality, but doesn’t always aid this kind of evening when the focus is on him and his life.

Part of a series called Broadway @ Leicester Square, whose previous stars have included Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald, this concert and conversation with pianist, comedian, encyclopaedic Broadway expert Seth Rudetsky is meant to be “off the cuff”.

For a lot of this show that’s exactly what it is – anecdotes start and stop, and veer in disjointed directions; Karimloo is clearly very tired after returning from a filming trip.

But that doesn’t detract from the sweetness and intimacy of the evening; nor, more importantly, from the high quality of the musical performances.

Among the highlights are Jason Robert Brown’s duet I’d Give It All For You, which Karimloo performs with guest Emma Kingston, dedicated to his wife, and a lullaby for his children.

The spontaneity also provides some priceless moments, like Karimloo trying to remember the words to Gilbert and Sullivan’s I am a Pirate King accompanied by a couple of friends in the stalls who were in the cast of Pirates of Penzance with him back in 2001, and a comic recreation of the Confrontation from Les Mis with the excellent Jeremy Secomb who happened to be in the audience.

As well as Rudetsky’s on-point piano accompaniment, Karimloo picks up his guitar for a few of the songs, and the two of them plus guitarist Matt Harvey knock out a fantastic version of It All Fades Away from The Bridges of Madison County.

The sluggish conversation is tempered by Rudetsky’s quick wit and cheekiness, but it’s the songs we’re here for – and Karimloo more than delivers.

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
Informal in-conversation evening featuring sluggish anecdotes but brilliant performances from Ramin Karimloo and Seth Rudetsky