West End leading lady embarks on a UK tour to celebrate her impressive and jam-pack 20 years of starring in the West End and performing.
After making her West End debut in 1998 in the musical My Fair Lady at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Kerry has made her mark in the West End and on Broadway. Kerry originated the role of ‘Meat’ in We Will Rock You and was the first British ‘Elphaba’ in both the West End and Broadway productions of the smash hit Wicked. Her many other leading role credits include ‘Nancy’ in Oliver! And ‘Grizabella’ in Cats at the London Palladium, ‘Eliza Doolittle’ in My Fair Lady, ‘Ellen’ in Miss Saigon and ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables.
Onstage with Kerry was her talented and easy on the eye band, made up of Steve Geere on keys, Dave Storer on bass, Stuart Roberts on drums and Andy Waterson on lead guitar. Andy also arranged the show, and I must applaud him for some incredible covers of some favorite musical theatre songs as well as some newer ones.
Bouncing onto the stage in a sequin jumpsuit, Kerry gets the evening going and the audience singing from the get-go with Roll With You.
Singing a range of styles including some country-esk songs, Kerry’s vocal ability bends and adjusts to each song, proving that as well as a successful musical theatre performer, Kerry is also a vocal artist. Kerry has released four albums, all of which have charted in the UK, including a collaboration with the talented Br Brian May.
One of my favourites and a song that keeps popping into my head is the stunning Butterfly, a song which celebrates growth and development.
Being the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attacks and being performed in Manchester, Kerry dedicated a beautiful acoustic cover of Amazing Grace to the audience and the people of Manchester, which left tears in the eyes of the audience.
The second half of the concert showed Kerry in her element – musical theatre. Getting the audience singing the part of ‘Glinda’ in Wicked’s For Good was a highlight for the audience, and even trying to belt out Somebody to Love from We Will Rock You. Kerry originated the role of ‘Meat’ in We Will Rock You, and we were reminded of her excellent version of No One But You, which Kerry sang with ease and passion.
It wouldn’t be a proper Kerry Ellis concert if she didn’t end the show with her most famous song, Defying Gravity from Wicked. As soon as the opening piano twinkle sounded, the audience knew exactly what we were getting, and she certainly didn’t disappoint.
Tackling a dramatic quick change and just making on stage for the famous first lines “Something has changed within me,” Kerry blows the audience away with her rock-inspired version of the iconic song. Accompanied by the talented students from the Midlands Academy of Musical Theatre Choir, the last song of the evening left the audience blown away.
Charming and charismatic on stage and when talking to the audience, Kerry Ellis is a natural entertainer, and a masterpiece to watch!