An Evening With West End Star Daniel Koek was performed at the London Hippodrome.
Looking at Daniel Koek, it is hard to believe that someone so young has played the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. Hearing his voice, however, it is even harder to believe that Les Mis didn’t snatch him up sooner.
Australian-born Koek has starred in roles such as Tony in the 50th anniversary production of West Side Story, Anatoly Sergievsky in Craig Revel Horwood’s staging of Chess and Lt Cable in Lincoln Center’s South Pacific.
Having performed in a number of large-scale venues, Koek brought his great talents to a more intimate space at the London Hippodrome Casino. The perfect opening song, ‘Go the Distance’ from Disney’s Hercules, effortlessly brought the audience to an awed silence.
Koek proved that his voice has no limits, offering a programme which included numbers from Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice’s musical Chess, a Billy Joel ‘mash-up’, and a rockin’ ‘Gethsemane’ from Jesus Christ Superstar. Without a doubt, he naturally and beautifully belts out his songs, best-proven perhaps in his rendition of the power ballad ‘I Surrender’. It is just a shame that at times the band played slightly too loud, so that even such a powerful voice like his was drowned out.
Singing ‘February Song’, from his new album High, easily sorted out everyone’s Christmas shopping as there is no greater gift than Koek’s flawless vocals.
Indeed the musical theatre leading man brought The Phantom of the Opera to the stage, singing a medley of songs from the Andrew Lloyd Webber show and ending on ‘Til I Hear Your Voice’ from the Phantom sequel Love Never Dies. It’s hard to believe that he hasn’t yet played the Phantom, so if any of you reading this happen to be involved in the casting, you have your next choice here!
How could this Jean Valjean not sing the Les Misérables anthem ‘Bring Him Home’? It goes without saying that the man and the role go perfectly together.
Koek was joined on stage by Britian’s Got Talent stars Jai McDowall (who won the competition in 2011) and Charlotte Jaconelli, who was in the show the year after, as part of a duo. The pair took turns to wow the audience with sensational vocals and even joined Koek in a trio singing ‘Remember Me’. Separately the singers stunned the crowd, but together Koek and Jaconelli’s voices overpowered McDowall’s and his voice was lost between the other two. All in all, McDowall and Jaconelli were both very well selected guests and were highly entertaining to watch.
All three were perfectly charismatic and very witty between songs, whether they were talking to each other or addressing the audience, making the whole evening extremely enjoyable. And although the smaller venue enhanced the agreeable atmosphere, Koek could definitely consider taking this performance on a bigger tour of even larger venues.