As the sparkle dust settles after the 2021 London, ARTABAN the MUSICAL showcase in Covent Garden, the creative, cast and production teams are taking a well-earned breather from the last few weeks whirlwind of excitement and hard work. We are still feeling the light, love and joy that emanated from the prestigious St Pauls, the Actors Church in the heart of a twinkling pre-Christmas Covent Garden.
Our new rock musical ARTABAN showcased on 23rd/24th November for three performances, to overwhelming positive reviews and three ecstatic standing ovations for the wonderful cast. Many thanks to Pearson Casting, who worked their magic in providing the crème de la crème of Musical Theatre talent, matching their skills to the characters they played perfectly.
Sasha Regan of the Union Theatre, Southwark directed a diverse and talented cast, many of whom had stepped out of their day jobs in top West End shows to perform in ARTABAN the MUSICAL. Sasha`s expertise shone out like a beacon! At her side was stage manager Jack Evans and the choreography genius, Kasper Cornish.
Danny Becker (The Prince of Egypt – Aladdin) gave a beautiful, heart-felt performance as the fourth wise man, ARTABAN. Bobbie Little (Heathers the Musical) played the feisty Esther. Her voice sashayed from melodic and touching, to a blend of rock, soul and gritty explosions of energy, wow!
We couldn`t have wished for a more cohesive group of actors. Their communal energy radiated the love, passion, pain and utter joy outwards and upwards that Daphne Lander (book), Anne Jones (lyrics) and Rick Radley (music) had all envisaged – but could only hope would be translated to the audience.
Matt Bond (Little Shop of Horrors) shook us to the core with his portrayal of the psychopathic `Herod` and `Herod Antipas`. He slipped seamlessly between quiet malevolence and unpredictable outbursts of fury! Nobody would guess what a sweet soul he is when off stage. “Matt Bond puts the rod into Herod” is just one of many twitter quotes from audience members. We have to agree.
Natalie Chua (Anything Goes) as Martha, one of only two female voices in the cast, gave a beautiful, believable and touching performance. Her voice… simply stunning!
The other three magi were brilliantly performed by Fela Lufadeju (Guys and Dolls, Royal Exchange – I May Destroy You BBC, HBO TV) as Balthazar, Alistair So (The King & I) as Melchior and Eu Jin Hwang (The King & I) as Caspar.
The storyline was peppered with infectious humour, introduced by Ashford Campbell (9 to 5 – Dreamgirls) – as Tigranes/thief, with hilarious banter between McCallam Connell (Oh Babylon – Dr No) as Jeweller/Innkeeper/Market Trader and Juan Jackson (Rent – Cats – Miss Saigon) as Rhodaspes/Market Trader. The entire cast put their heart and soul into the dance routines, songs and script and with a mere ten days to learn and perfect their roles, everyone was astounded by the polished `West End` quality of the production.
Sami Lamine (Broken Wings) as Amos warmed our hearts when his mellow operatic voice took on a fabulous unexpected `rocky` edge. Yet another `wow` moment!
Charles Doherty (Jesus Christ Superstar – Hairspray – Spamalot) as Abdus and the Slave blew us away with his acting and vocal prowess and we are all still pinching ourselves at how quickly the cast became a beautiful supportive family.
Throughout this process we have met a group of insanely talented friends we will never forget and hope to remain in touch with.
Thank you to all who played a part in making this musical showcase the success it was. This is simply the beginning!
Comments & Reviews
(5/5) Small production but very high quality!
Well done to fellow cast and crew. Super job. The talent on show continues to blow me away every day!
I saw the show last night, wonderful! Some lovely moments and thoroughly enjoyed the performances!
Anne Jones: You held everything together! You are a superstar. Your lyrics are beautiful!
Daphne Lander`s script had some really strong character dialogue and funny interludes. Well done Daphne! Brilliant.
It was a great night! We all loved it – you’ve done an amazing job all of you 😊
Our favourite scene was the marketplace. Onwards and upwards!
So.. exciting news. I will be putting down some choreographed moves in this show. Yep! I’m dancing Learned this much to my horror yesterday! Not sure if it’s what the director was going for, but it’s now officially a comedy! Please don’t hold me responsible. Apologies in advance for any trauma.
Loved it – brilliant show
Your musical is an amazing achievement, well done.
I just watched the video of Artaban. It was truly amazing, stunning, moving.
I especially liked the lyrics of the songs, actually, which carried certain of your leading themes, e.g. following the heart, God as light–and conveyed the spirituality of Christmas in a light-hearted and elegant way with grace and style. I also felt that the actors –Artaban and his girlfriend, in particular – were caught up in their parts totally. The whole performance was joyous, and
especially welcome given the pandemic, which has thwarted live theatre up until now. I can see this show on the road, very easily. It’s accessible, the music is wonderful, the themes are universal, and the whole thing is well done.
Artaban at the actors church in Covent Garden. Infectious score and ably played by the cast. With some great voices Staged by the inventive Sasha Regan/cast by Pearson casting. Highly enjoyable, Matt Bond puts the rod in Herod! He rocks !
It was fabulous. Loved the show, it was so uplifting. X
It was a pleasure to share the ‘first night’ with you. We both thought that the production, acting and music was excellent. Having seen a lot of musicals over the years, we definitely think Artaban’s got legs! Wishing you well for today’s performances and fingers crossed for it taking off from here.
Just incredible – felt so privileged to be there
It was fab! And a great cast. I want to see it again
(4/5) If you like your musicals of the euro pop/rock variety performed by a diverse cast of great singers then this show is for you. The music reminded me of an Alan Parsons Project album and I listened to the music again on the way home, it’s on the website. An uplifting evening classily directed by Sasha Regan.
Today @sixthemusical ran on the West End & UK Tour, @FantasticallyGW ran in Norwich, @ArtabanUk ran at @actorschurch, Beauty & The Beast rehearsed for @NottmPlayhouse & Cinderella for @polkatheatre & RENT won Best Performance at #MCRCultureAwards2021
Today is a good day!
Wonderful to hear my dear friend and co-creator Rick Radley’s great music in our launch of Artaban the musical last night in the Actors Church, Covent Garden. Well done Rick it truly rocked!!!
What a great evening it was. We are so pleased that your hard work, efforts and perseverance paid off and you must all be feeling very proud and exhilarated. I just hope that some person has the vision and resources to take it to the next level so that many more people can enjoy what is a very simple story narrated through such great music.
It was absolutely brilliant. So proud to be part of this.
The show was wonderful
(4/5) Definitely worth seeing!!
Everyone still coming down off this show. I think it will be a while