On Saturday 31st March, my sister and I were lucky enough to be in the audience of one of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s first solo concerts at Cadogan Hall. The concert coincides with the release of Carrie’s first album, When the Curtain Falls, which shares the name with her third novel (fourth book overall) which is due to be released in July.
For those who are unaware, Carrie is one of my favourite influencers and her talents span a thriving YouTube channel, wonderful online presence, writing novels, singing, acting and blogging. I first saw her in Les Misérables when she fulfilled her dream of playing ‘Éponine’ and I was amazed by her talent. This led to discovering her YouTube channel and then her first, non-fiction novel, All I Know Now. Since then, I have continued to enjoy her YouTube videos, books (her fiction novels are excellent) and blog, which she has recently revived. I have been keen to see her perform again and when she announced a solo concert I jumped at the chance to go, after waiting through two hours of seminars so I could order the tickets.
I have been full of anticipation about the concert and after a couple of days in London, the time arrived. Cadogan Hall was a great venue for the concert and the reception room was filled with people awaiting the concert. I often hear comments that Carrie’s fans are very polite and lovely and being in a room full of them affirmed that. There was a great atmosphere which added to the evening, especially the feelings of admiration and support for Carrie.
There was plenty of merchandise on sale from concert related pieces to items from Carrie’s ‘The Hopeful Shop’. I bought myself a signed programme and a signed poster which I am very pleased with. The programme was worth buying as it included some stunning pictures of Carrie that were taken at a recent photo shoot for the concert and album. It also includes a small interview with Carrie that I think is a nice inclusion for a solo concert.
Sat in our seats, you could feel the anticipation in the room. Soon silence fell and the room was filled with the opening notes of ‘Pure Imagination’ and then Carrie’s beautiful voice floated out over the top. She began by singing from offstage, so when she walked out the room erupted. Following this opening, the first act was filled with wonderful music including a duet with Oliver Ormson, who played Carrie’s on-stage fiancé in the UK tour of The Addams Family. Their chemistry was clear and their voices blended beautifully, similarly as with Rob Houchen who appeared in the second act and played ‘Marius’ opposite Carrie in Les Misérables. The first act also featured ‘The Wizard and I’ from Wicked which I was pleased to hear Carrie sing as she would be great as the role of ‘Elphaba’. Having seen Carrie as ‘Éponine’, I was happy to hear her rendition of ‘On My Own’ again as it is amazing, even more so than when I saw her perform it years ago. The medley of Disney songs was very Carrie and had a mix of some great songs, as well as a few from the villains to show Carrie’s versatility despite always being thought of as the ‘Disney Princess’. A lovely moment was seeing the audience moving along as she sang ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’. It felt that every single person was being touched by the music and the beauty of Carrie’s voice.
A short interval was concluded as the famous music for The Addams Family began and the audience began to *click click* along which built the anticipation for hearing Carrie sing ‘Pulled’ which was her big solo in the recent UK tour. For her role as ‘Wednesday’, Carrie won a Whatsonstage award and as I was unable to see the musical, I was very excited to see this particular song at the concert. This number was very impressive and I can only imagine she played the role brilliantly. Carrie’s voice has such a range as whilst she can belt the big notes, she keeps control and knows when to hold back. Renditions of ‘Audition’ from La La Land and ‘Burn’ from Hamilton also featured in the second act and having heard these on Carrie’s YouTube channel, I was excited to see her sing them live. More duets and a trio with Oliver and Rob were a joy to listen to and I think having those guests added a little bit of variety to the concert, although I could happily listen to Carrie sing for a long time.
Between songs, Carrie would introduce the next by explaining why she had chosen it, or she would tell a related story. Being used to making YouTube videos probably helped here and Carrie was very natural, despite admitting her nerves at being ‘herself’ on stage, and the concert felt personal.
The concert ended with a large applause and standing ovation which Carrie could not have deserved more. She then reappeared to sing ‘Journey to the past’ which features on her album, after which she received another standing ovation from a room of dedicated and proud followers.
For those who are yet to discover Carrie, she is an excellent role model and a very hard worker who puts her passion and creativity into everything that she does. To hear her amazing voice, you can watch her videos of covers or original songs (she writes her own songs too) on YouTube or listen to her recently released album. I ordered the special signed edition of the album which is yet to arrive but having been to the concert and heard some of the featured tracks, I cannot wait for it to arrive so I can hear Carrie’s marvellous voice again.
Although I have focused my post on Carrie, I would like to add that the musicians, musical arrangements and those at Club 11 and Cadogan Hall were all excellent and made for a great experience.