The Follow Spot: Duets with Lucie Jones and Lauren Samuels was performed at Proud Cabaret, London.
I can only say it is a shame that the word hadn’t spread wider about this event, as it was a wonderful night of singing, laughter and great entertainment. West End On Sea Productions, normally located in Brighton, made its London debut with The Follow Spot featuring West End and TV performers Lucie Jones and Lauren Samuels.
Jones appeared on The X Factor in 2009, reaching eighth place after losing out to Jedward, although one must really question the judges’ sanity for letting that happen! She went on to play roles such as Cosette in Les Misérables, Victoria in American Psycho and Meat in the World Arena tour of We Will Rock You.
Lauren Samuels emerged from BBC1’s talent show Over the Rainbow where she made it all the way to the final and came in third. The actress and singer went on to play Sandy in Grease, Scaramouche in both the London and touring productions of We Will Rock You, and has recently played the lead role of Jenny in Love Story. The two artists performed together in the touring production of We Will Rock You and have remained firm friends ever since.
After a bit of a rough start with the microphones alternating between ear-deafeningly loud and just not functioning at all, the show took off. Jones and Samuels came out in floor-length sparkling black dresses and belted out Australian recording artist Sia’s chart-topping song, ‘Chandelier’.
The girls effortlessly proved that they could not be typecast through a vast variation of musical genres. From pop to rock to show tunes, they sang every number flawlessly. Indeed they were a perfect team as their voices beautifully complemented each other and had the power to stand out individually too.
As well as some stunningly sung well-known songs, the night did not go without twists and turns. Jones and Samuels gave the audience some insight to their strong friendship through a very funny re-write of Wicked’s ‘What is This Feeling?’, a very popular performance with the audience. Samuels returned to her days as Sandy and offered a lovely soulful and breathy take on Grease’s big song, ‘You’re the One That I Want’, which took some time to get used to, but actually worked really well.
When compiling a choice of songs it is always hard to choose which ones will make the final cut. Again, this was handled so well in a form of medleys. First, the two actresses sang a medley of Disney princess songs, making some pleasantly surprising choices along the way. They ended with a collection of overused audition songs but even then managed to pull out all sorts of surprises.
Ending on a well-deserved encore, the pair sang ‘That’s Life’, perfectly summing up their journey.
Through the use of anecdotes from the duo and humorous introductions before songs, the audience were entertained during every minute of the show. What made this show so successful, however, was the natural rapport between Jones and Samuels and the way they invited the audience to be part of their tight friendship.