Review: State Fair (Cadogan Hall)

Reviewed by Sophie Ross
6th November 2016
Reviewer rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Last night, Cadogan Hall hosted a night of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair.  With a star-studded West End line up accompanied by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO), we knew we were in for a treat before it had even started.

The show tells the story of the yearly traditional “Iowa State Fair”and follows the journey of a family preparing to leave their life on the farm for three days of adventure, fun and competition. With such a beautiful award winning score, this entertaining evening for once, was not just about the story, it was about the magic of the music.

Featuring some of West End’s finest, Wendi Peters (Melissa Frake), Clive Cartel (Abel), Oliver Saville (Wayne), Celinda Schoenmaker (Margie), Emma Hatton (Emily) and Richard Fleeshman (Pat) the talent oozing from the stage was undeniably special. This wonderful line-up presented some of the best vocal arrangements that we’ve heard in a long time and with such ease. With each and every person putting their own spin on the characters, the orchestra playing so incredibly and an ongoing buzz in the audience, it was a night of triumphs. It really felt like so much more than just a night listening to music. It was truly wonderful.

The real credit for this fantastic production goes to the LMTO. The strong orchestration filled with extremely talented and dedicated musicians was such a joy to listen to. They truly brought so much life to this beautiful score and with Freddie Tapners direction and over the top enthusiasm, they were in their element. It’s often that you don’t always appreciate the dedication and hard work of the orchestra within a theatre as they are usually unseen in the pit but seeing them centre stage with this production was nothing short of spectacular.

What also made the show special was that various members of the LMTO also doubled up to play small parts within the vocal arrangement. It was a night filled with joy, entertainment and a real celebration of music. With a packed audience, the production was truly deserving of it’s long standing ovation and applause. The show was performed with such high standard, fantastic performers and so much talent. One that you would be sorry to miss.


We’re very excited for A Christmas Carol. Buy tickets here:

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