review of ‘All the King’s Men’ in the Hayward Theatre on Saturday 2nd February 2013

The Hayward Theatre at the King’s School Ely was packed for the ‘All the King’s Men’ concert and it was easy to understand why. Under the directorship of Cameron Carr, this renowned group of male a cappella singers wowed the audience with potent voices, fantastic close harmony, stunning choreography and sophisticated arrangements. Musical director, Jonathan Stewart, and assistant Gus Nicholson, certainly know how to add excitement, colour and interest to their songs – many of them very well-known. An atmosphere of excellence, exuberance and rhythmical pizzazz was constantly tinged with an underlying feeling that we were all there to enjoy ourselves and enjoy ourselves we certainly did.

The programme included a wide variety of material ranging from old favourites such as ‘The Lion sleep tonight’ and the more recent  ‘Skyfall’ and items from the chorister/classical tradition (from which many of the singers came), to ‘on-the-edge’ mischievous numbers like ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’.

The King’s Barbers, the male a cappella group of students from The King’s School Ely, directed by renowned singer and teacher, Peter North, also took part in this momentous event. The King’s Barbers had enjoyed a workshop with ‘All the King’s Men’ and, resplendent in dazzling costumes, displayed their work several times within the concert. The King’s Barbers certainly have come a long way since they were first founded many years ago and they should do well in the choral competition in Manchester on 2-3rd March this year.

Perhaps most interesting of all was that Josh Darley, an ex- King’s School Ely pupil, was amongst the singers in ‘All the King’s Men’. The audience was delighted to see him again. The remaining singers in the group were: Peter Morrell (manager), Matt Slauson, Tom Hindmarch, Jeff Gary, Steffan Rizzi and Rufus Talks.

After a thoroughly enjoyable evening, the encore finally brought the curtain down with a highly entertaining, very saucy rendition of ‘Let’s get it on’. I noted that it was, by then, past ‘the watershed’!

If you get the chance to see these performers, book early for seats are understandably at a premium when they perform.

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