Review: An Evening with the Stratford East Singers
- Credit: Archant
Just one Uptown Funk into this concert and the audience is in foot-tapping thrall.
An Evening with the Stratford East Singers – which actually became two nights after selling out last weekend – is a lot more than just a night of feel-good entertainment. We also embark on what feels like a personal journey in the Theatre Royal, as heartfelt and sometimes goose-bump-inducing performances are interspersed by thoughtful introductions.
Several members take the mic as we are gently rocked between African folk to Emilie Sandé and on to a humorous and melodic reggae mix. In a lump-in-throat moment one singer pays tribute to a former member who passed away last year, before the group cascades into Stand By Me, a stunning a capella rendition of the Ben E.King hit.
A pure non-instrumental section is also in store, with finalists from BBC2’s The Naked Choir rocking a Blues version of Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) and Abba’s Take A Chance, with a guest appearance by a capella group Gospel Essence.
Choirmaster Byron Gold discreetly flits between conducting and singing, taking a star turn with the group. At the end when the whole choir forms for his own composition I Am – leaving the audience refreshed, a spring in their step and a song (or several) in their soul.