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jaydarcy
21st May 2023

Samantha Barks is on her own at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Samantha Barks will perform a solo concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane – where she stars in the cast of Frozen
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Samantha Barks is on her own at Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Photo: Samantha Barks

Samantha Barks recently played her 600th performance as Elsa in Disney’s Frozen in the West End. She’s currently filming the Mamma Mia! tv competition I Have a Dream in Corfu – swapping the snow for some sun! Upon her return, she will be playing a solo concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane (where Frozen lives), after the pandemic resulted in her previous solo concert being cancelled.

Samantha Barks’ musical theatre career began when she competed and came third on I’d Do Anything. Like I Have a Dream, it was a TV competition series to find the new Nancy in Oliver!, and it aunched the careers of several now notable musical theatre stars, such as Jodie Prenger, Jessie Buckley, and Rachel Tucker – and just about everybody else who competed.

Prior to Frozen, Barks was best-known for playing Éponine in several productions of Les Misérables, cementing the standard ‘On My Own’ as her signature song. She first starred in the West End production before being chosen to play the role in the 25th anniversary concert and later being cast in the film adaptation, for which she received a Satallite Award nomination.

She is also known for starring in the original cast of Amélie (California), the original UK production of Honeymoon in Vegas (West End concert), the original cast of Pretty Woman (Chicago and Broadway), and, of course, the original UK cast of Frozen, for which she received a WhatsOnStage Award nomination.

Onscreen, she has starred in Groove High and competed on season two of Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, in which she was joint-runner-up.

In 2021, she released her third studio album, Into the Unknown, named after the signature song from Frozen 2. The album, which opens with the title track, is made up of covers of musical songs from the decade prior – from Mean Girls to Six, and even musical TV series Smash – with the exception of ‘Reflection’ from Mulan. and Alanis Morissette’s ‘Mary Jane’. There are no standards or classics but, rather, future nostalgia, so to speak. It was the first studio release from exciting new musical theatre label Westway.

Barks will be singing songs from her album at her solo concert, which, like her album, is a celebration of musical theatre from the past decade. However, I hope she sings ‘On My Own’, for it is her signature song – and it would make up for the disappointment I felt when Ariana DeBose did not sing ‘America’ at her recent concert.

I also hope she sings something from Frozen – ideally ‘Let It Go’, but I’d settle for ‘Monster’! I saw her perform ‘I Can’t Lose You’ with Stephanie McKeon (who originated the role of Anna in the UK) at Big Night of Musicals (2022), a month after seeing Frozen in the West End. Barks really is the perfect Elsa – dare I say it, better than Caissie Levy, who originated the role on Broadway – and I hope she honours this magical musical at her concert.

Barks will be accompanied by a full live band and joined by a trio of special guests: Orfeh, Bradley Jaden, and The Overtones.

Tony and Grammy nominee Orfeh starred alongside Barks in the original cast of Pretty Woman.

Bradley Jaden starred in the original UK (West End) cast of Shrek, the first UK tour of Ghost, and Treason The Musical In Concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane! He also played Fiyero in Wicked (international tour and the West End). However, he is best-known for playing multiple roles in Les Mis in the West End: Lesgles, Enjolras, Jean Valjean, and Inspector Javert.

Multi-platinum selling group The Overtones have released seven albums, all of which have reached the UK top 30; five have released the top 20; four have released the top 10. They are, without a doubt, one of the best vocal harmony groups around.

On the concert, Barks said:

“It feels like a long time since I performed a solo concert in London so when the opportunity to play at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane came along, I knew it was the perfect venue for my show. I’ve been playing eight shows a week there in Frozen and it’s become a second home and what a beautiful home it is!

“I feel very lucky to perform Elsa every week on that glorious stage and to now be bringing my own show to this historic venue is a real ‘pinch me’ moment! Since my last London show, I have performed on Broadway, in Japan and of course in Arendelle! I was also delighted to release my album Into The Unknown last year.’

 

Samantha Barks will perform her solo concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane for one night only on May 30.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

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