Review: The Barricade Boys - Christmas Cabaret

5 star rating
Gorgeous harmonies, top-notch solos and pitch-perfect ensemble singing, all combined with a well-chosen programme, provide a sumptuous, musical feast for lovers of fine singing.
The Barricade Boys - Christmas Cabaret at The Other Palace

Closes here: Saturday 23 December 2017


Scott Garnham

Simon Schofield

Kieran Brown

Craig Mather


The Barricade Boys showcase some of the world's finest male voices from the West End, International Tour and Hollywood movie of the world's longest running musical - Les Misèrables.

After sell out performances in London's West End, an appearance at the St James Theatre on Broadway and many international dates, The Barricade Boys are quickly securing their place as theatre land's newest and most exciting male vocal group!

Come and join the Christmas party as they, not only, perform the world's greatest show tunes but also celebrate music from some of the most iconic names in the music industry, from powerful ballads and beautiful operatic arias to some of the best pop, rock and swing numbers of all time.

As well as appearing in the World's longest running musical, Les Misèrables, and playing major leading roles in musical theatre, The Barricade Boys have being guests on many primetime TV shows including The Paul O'Grady Show, Sunday Night at the Palladium, Children In Need, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and most recently Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.

Why settle for just another vocal group when you can have the world's leading musical theatre super group!?

ActDrop reviews

Peter Brown

Performance date: Thursday 7 December 2017
Review star rating image for 3 stars

If you're not into panto, or historical Christmas tales and the like, what about a cabaret this festive season?

Well, the immensely talented Barricade Boys are into a run at The Other Palace, providing an indulgence of singing that presents a musical alternative for those who don't like slapstick, or the dubious innuendo of dames.

The studio at The Other Palace is a surprisingly intimate venue, but nonetheless well-proportioned, managing to bring you close to the action on stage - you could almost reach out and touch the singers here.

And with its own bar and tables sprinkled around the seating area, the venue does have the feel of a well-appointed jazz club with acoustics that let the songs and vocals really shine without deafening the front row.

Any venue worth its salt at this time of year needs no excuse to light-up a Christmas tree, and The Other Palace is no exception.

So, there's a large fir suitably adorned with all the necessary lights, but it's a projected log-fire that takes pride of place offering a sense of tongue-in-cheek cosiness to the atmosphere.

More used to playing with a sizeable band to accompany them, The Barricade Boys offer, in their own words, "a stripped-back" version of their usual show, with just piano providing accompaniment.

That proves more than ample for the size of venue and, after all, these men have the vocal power and variety of harmonies to almost accompany themselves.

The link which bonds this all-male, 4-strong team together is that they have, at one time or another, been in the musical phenomenon Les Misèrables.

Hence the ensemble's name - they have, quite literally, been boys on the 'barricade'.

You may be tempted to conclude that, having been drilled within the well-defined format of a mega-successful musical, these performers might sound similar if not almost the same in terms of their vocal timbre.

Not so, though.

All of these stunning singers have characteristically distinct voices varying from rich and mellow right through to airy, bordering on the ethereal.

That combination enables them to construct and deliver harmonies that raise the wide ranging numbers they sing to a uniquely lush and captivating level.

And though these are powerful singers, used to blasting out songs night after night in large auditoria, the subtle and delicate harmonies never get lost either through the amplification or simply the vocal mass that this formidable team can muster.

The well-devised, interesting and varied programme of over 20 songs never feels hurried, even though in reality they're rattled-off at quite a cracking pace.

In between the individual numbers, the 'boys' take turns in chatting with the audience - it all seems unscripted and natural, and that adds to the relaxed and relaxing mood of the show.

It being the yuletide, the songs do focus on the festive theme, but there are plenty of show numbers including well-known ones from, of course, Les Misèrables.

A bevy of guests are slated to appear with The Barricade Boys as they wend their musical way through the run-up to the festive period.

On this occasion, Michael Xavier provided a splendid mid-show interlude with a haunting version of 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas', and then had his arm-twisted to add his immense vocal prowess to a novel rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Gorgeous harmonies, top-notch solos and pitch-perfect ensemble singing, all combined with a well-chosen programme of popular numbers, provide a sumptuous, musical feast for lovers of fine singing.

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Our show listing for The Barricade Boys - Christmas Cabaret
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