Long may cabaret reign!

Review by Paul Nelson

TO MY mind one of the finest of the theatre arts is cabaret when a performer takes on an audience single handed and either enchants them or otherwise. It must take a lot of nerve but when the performer is as good as Gay Soper, the entire enterprise is more than worthwhile.

Gay Soper, often seen in the West End, though not often enough, along with Stefan Bednarcyzk as host and musical director, knocked the audience at the Jermyn Street Theatre for six in a programme of songs and funnies working under the generic title of Jermyn Street Jewels.

It was just one of a series of evenings presented by Jermyn Street Theatre which continues for the rest of the week.

Opening with I wanted to be a Soprano and going through an evening of some 20 songs, she and Bednarcyzk held the audience in the palm of their hands for a good hour and a half.

Peppering the evening with songs from shows she has appeared in, shows as diverse as Godspell and Mother Courage Miss Soper, looking every inch a diva, was more than entertaining.

Songs one thought one would never hear again such as I'm Old Fashioned, Boy Wanted and More than You Know filled the theatre and the audience's hearts with a glow that is rare indeed.

This hard heart melted completely under the spell of Guess Who I Saw Today - a song I have known for very many years but which had never moved me to tears before, and along with the rest of the house I rocked with laughter as gem after gem was delivered, several with the aid of Mr Bednarcyzk, no mean performer himself.

The act finished with the song that has always been cut from every production of Follies that I have seen, but which is played in the background of the show, Can That Boy Foxtrot, and hearing this delivered by Gay Soper, after an overwhelming evening, proved to be the perfect nightcap.

Long may cabaret reign, and may we have Miss Soper back please? Again and again?