REVIEW: Keith Jack and friends offer an evening of music fit for a prince

Keith Jack, The Capitol studio, Horsham, Saturday, January 10, 7.30pm

The Capitol’s panto has only just finished but the Prince is already back at the venue charming his audience all over again.

Keith Jack, wearing a sharp suit and tie this evening, has a somewhat unconventional stage presence with his scruffy facial hair and shining blue eyes. However, Keith’s performance goes down well and his singing talent impresses as he reels off popular hits like ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’ and ‘The Girl of My Best Friend’.

These tunes are followed by a sparkling version of Elton John’s ‘Crocodile Rock’, which has the whole audience singing the chorus and clapping along.

The Capitol’s studio may be an intimate setting but Keith’s got a voice that can fill the largest of theatres, which he makes clear with a passionate interpretation of ‘Who I’d Be’ from Shrek The Musical and ‘Colours of the Wind’ from Pocahontas.

Fans of Horsham’s Cinderella receive a post-Christmas present tonight in the form of Zoe Nicole Adkin who decides to ‘take the audience under the sea’. Her beautiful rendition of ‘Part Of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid has the same magical spark that Jodie Benson’s version had in Disney’s 1989 movie.

Coming back to panto for a moment, it should be mentioned that Keith has some friends in the audience in the form of his Cinderella co-stars – Mike Goble (Buttons) and Steve King and Olly Taylor (The Wugly Sisters). They provide more than a few chances for Keith to crack some jokes and receive some good natured heckling in return. Drummer Nick Polley adds to this with some impromptu rimshots, which are amusingly worked into the comedy.

Gags aside, all the musicians (not forgetting the bassist Sam) deserve a round of applause for their superb skills and professionalism throughout the show.

Pianist Scott Morgan, for example, wows the audience with ‘Giants In The Sky’ from the film Into The Woods, a particularly tricky song with odd, shifting rhythms.

In the second half Zoe comes back onstage to perform ‘The Wizard and I’ from Wicked, as well as a lively duet with Keith – ‘As Long As You’re Mine’.

There are plenty of rousing moments in this concert that prompt huge rounds of applause, however it’s the softer numbers that are really striking. ‘With You’ from Ghost – a song that holds a lot of personal significance for Keith – is delivered with tear-inducing honesty, while ‘Children Of Israel’ stirs the soul with it’s expression of intense longing.

As Keith finishes the show, performing ‘Any Dream Will Do’ with some local children, it’s clear that the lucky audience members have experienced a very special night of music.