Les Musicals, New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, REVIEW: ‘Incredibly entertaining evening’

Les Musicals was at the New Theatre Royal last night.
Les Musicals was at the New Theatre Royal last night.

Les Musicals brings together two vocal powerhouses of reality television’s past to celebrate songs from stage and screen.

Jonathan Ansell was the poster boy for G4 on the first series of the X Factor back in 2004. Meanwhile, Jai McDowall won Britain’s Got Talent. While he’s not a name synonymous with the show, his performance in this tour convinced me the public got it right in 2011.

The duo started off with a Greatest Showman medley. Donning jackets similar to Hugh Jackman in the film, they looked the part and sounded fantastic but their faces were lost. The impressive lighting design bizarrely overlooked a simple spotlight on the singers; a continued annoyance throughout the evening.

The two hour long spectacle included a combination of solos and duets. Stand out performances included their version of Bui Doi from Miss Saigon and McDowall’s Anthem from Chess, the song which shot him to fame in his first audition on television. The real highlight came during the Les Misérables section that concluded the show.

Despite favouring McDowall’s rich tones in the lower register for most of the night, Ansell stunned me with Bring Him Home. You could hear a pin drop in the audience with his mesmerising rendition of this beautiful song. The encore of We Will Rock You songs got the crowd on their feet to draw this incredibly entertaining evening to a close.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​