Review by Daz Gale
Fast becoming one of the most reliable performers in the West End having wowed audiences with her leading roles in Wicked, Waitress and her current turn in Les Miserables, Lucie Jones took a break from dying on stage to unleash her gifts around the UK for four very special tour dates. Lucies concerts are always a dream but would she be able to defy expectations with her latest?
For her first UK tour, Lucie has teamed up with the Fulltone orchestra. Those who have followed Lucie for a while will know she is no stranger to an orchestra having performed with one at her Adelphi theatre concert in 2020, released as a live album. There is something about Lucies voice and presence which lends itself well to a huge orchestra accompanying her and this was yet another shining example why.
Lucie introduced the show telling us to expect songs from musical theatre, pop, films and some surprises. True to her word, what followed was a fairly unpredictable and incredibly versatile setlist whose one consistency was in the immense calibre of the performance. The aforementioned films included a stunning ‘Skyfall’ and a medley of two classic Disney songs, while Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ (the film connection is Love Actually obviously) was an early standout.
From the world of pop we were treated to a rousing cover of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and Lucie’s own Eurovision anthem (this the season after all) with ‘Never Give Up On You’. This was a show about revisiting some of the more memorable moments from Lucie’s career so of course she talked about her time on The X Factor closing the show with her mesmerising rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’ which she had performed on the show.
Of course, Lucie took the time to perform numbers from some of the most iconic roles she has taken of. Having recently completed a year as Elphaba in Wicked, she teased the moment we were all waiting for with a bit of ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ before bringing the house down (not on the Wicked Witch of the East I hope) with an absolutely iconic ‘Defying Gravity’. ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress was every bit as spine-tingling as you would expect and her take on ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ from her current show Les Miserables was an undoubted standout.
It wasn’t just a huge orchestra Lucie shared the spotlight with. She was joined by two of her former co-stars for some truly fantastic duets. She was reunited with the Glinda to her Elphaba as Helen Woolf joined her for ‘A Million Dreams’ while the Doctor was in as an unusually suited David Hunter performed a beautiful ‘You Matter To Me’ with Lucie as well as a madcap, slightly unhinged version of ‘Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better’ which truly represented their close friendship and had the audience in stitches.
This wasn’t just a Lucie Jones concert, however. This was Lucie and the Fulltone orchestra – and what an orchestra they are. Creating a truly sensationall sound, an intimate Hexagon shaped venue in Reading burst through life in what I imagine must be the most beautiful sound to ever reverberate from that building. The varied setlist came to life making moments like ‘She Used To Be Mine’ sound better than ever .Filling every inch of the stage with talent, they were truly impressive to witness.
A Lucie Jones concert is guaranteed to have stories and laughter, thanks to her own infectious personality. Whether she was talking about constantly being beaten by Samantha Barks for roles (followed by a storming ‘Let It Go’) or forgetting the words to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ and refusing to forgive herself for it, Lucie has the kind of rapport that allows an audience to hang on to her every word. Talking to them like they were all her friends, she made the whole affair feel intimate – even while backed with a 50 piece orchestra.
At one point, Lucie spoke about her time as Cosette in Les Miserables and how people expected that to lead to Christine in Phantom of the Opera. While admitting she hasn’t used her soprano voice as much, she went on to surprise and delight with a version of ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ that was so stunning, my goosebumps had goosebumps. Having never heard Lucie sing like that before, she was right with her warning at the start as she constantly has the ability to surprise. It also was refreshing to hear Phantom performed with a full orchestra... but let's not get into that one now.
Lucie Jones is an incredible talent. That shouldn’t come as breaking news to anyone. A consistently phenomenal performer, she seems to get better with every passing day. You get the sense she can sing anything and make it sound world class, and this concert was proof of that. Never sounding better thanks to the stunning accompaniment of the Fulltone Orchestra, this was a night to remember and another reminder of why Lucie Jones has become a regular fixture on the West End stage. An absolute dream of a concert – go and see it if you can!
All That Jazz
Somebody To Love
Both Sides Now
You Matter To Me (Duet with David Hunter)
She Used To Be Mine
Get Happy (Helen Woolf)
The Trolley Song
Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead!
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes/When You Wish Upon A Star
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
A Million Dreams (Duet with Helen Woolf)
Never Give Up On You
Let It Go
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better (Duet with David Hunter)
I Dreamed A Dream
I Will Always Love You
Lucie Jones and The Fulltone Orchestra continue the tour with dates in Bath, Bournemouth and Cardiff. Tickets from https://fto.org.uk/lucie/
Photos by Benji Walker