Voice of the Heart Karen Carpenter – Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

Reviewed by Garry and Helen McWilliams


Back in May 2013 we were invited to review this must-see show and Helen took the lead in writing the review which can be found here: https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/reviews-3/page/2/

Now it’s Garry’s turn and we were delighted to review a second time, almost 18 months later. Voice of the Heart remains a foot-tapping sing-along evening and it is suitable for all ages. You also don’t need to be a fan of the Carpenters to have a good night out watching this show, it truly is a fantastic night out in its own right – it just so happens that Carole Gordon sounds remarkably like the lady whose hits she is singing. There is a new band member, following the sad loss of Bob Gordon who not only added excellent bass guitar to the ensemble, but also wonderful backing vocals. He is missed, but the line-up are truly superb and must be commended for continuing with their tour.

Opening with ‘Sing A Song’ is an inspired selection and it is one of the notable numbers where Carole’s voice particularly stands out. ‘For All We Know’ is Helen’s favourite, short and sweet providing yet another great opportunity for the lead vocalist to shine. We both noted the clarity of the harmonies on this occasion, Rachel Dean on backing vocals is a class act – this is the third time we have heard Gordon and Dean sing together and they compliment one another perfectly.

Carole connects with each song completely and we felt every word that she was singing, the Carpenters music can be likened to an emotional journey, and that is the over-riding feeling from this show. ‘Touch Me When We’re Dancing’, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ and ‘Goodbye To Love’ were easily our personal highlights, not forgetting ‘Superstar’ which Carole describes as an “audience choice”, she’s right, it just wouldn’t be right if that track wasn’t included in the set.

The band are well chosen and there is not one weak link among this talented group. Gordon Godwin has joined on bass guitar, there’s also Andy Saphir who is not only a skilled guitarist but contributes amazingly to the harmonies. Mat Newton on piano/synths is the musical director and consistently first-rate, as is John Blackburn on drums. We were really looking forward to seeing Carolyn Lawford again, she is multi-talented indeed, playing saxophone, flute and clarinet – and of course, she didn’t disappoint.

It’s an all-round evening of entertainment as Gordon develops a natural rapport with the audience and has a very natural interactive style. Indeed, it’s an altogether warm and welcoming banter which adds an extra dimension to the show. Go and see it, what more can we say!

Please see http://www.voiceoftheheart.co.uk for details of forthcoming shows and to book tickets.

Break A Leg Review Interview: Dean Mitchell

Interviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams


He’s played Buddy in ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ in London’s West End and is now a huge part of ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’. We caught up with performed, Dean Mitchell to find out how he came to be treading the boards in this latest project and what his career highlights have been so far.

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg Review, can you tell us what drove you to become a performer, did you always have this ambition?

Yes I think so, I am a sucker for amazing art. Whether this is a song, a painting, a performance… I always wanted to create.

What have the highlights of your career been so far and why?

Playing the lead role in Buddy the musical in the West End was definitely a highlight. It’s pretty much every actor’s dream and to achieve it by 26 was incredible!!

Tell us about the Simon and Garfunkel Story and how you became a part of it.

I was the one who came up with the idea! – We wanted to tell the story of the couple as the question ‘did they get on?’ always comes up in rock n’ roll conversations. We decide to try and answer that whilst also putting together a concert of all their incredible hits!

Do you enjoy touring and which has been the best venue so far?

We’ve had some amazing shows including selling out overt a 1,000 people in Inverness but the best show must be opening night in High Wycombe, we didn’t know if it would go down well but we had a complete standing ovation and everyone went wild – it was an amazing feeling and a relief!!

Is there a song you particularly look forward to singing?

A Dangling conversation’ – a beautiful song with incredible lyrics and delicate moving harmonies.

As a West End performer do you have a favourite theatre?

I think most the theatres in London are beautiful as most were created during the Victorian period though I have extremely fond memories of ‘The Duchess Theatre’ in Covent Garden where I played `Buddy for 2 years.

What’s your advice for aspiring performers?

Learn to play an instrument, or to juggle, or drive a motorcycle, or anything different and new…. The competition is tough and they might be looking for someone in particular. Fill your tool belt, it might get you the job…

We’d like to thank Dean for allowing us to interview him and for some insightful answers. See our News page for tour information https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/

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