Home » London Theatre Reviews » Anne Steele: Welcome To The Big Top at Crazy Coqs | Review

Anne Steele: Welcome To The Big Top at Crazy Coqs | Review

Anne Steele: Welcome To The Big TopMaking her London debut, cabaret and vocal sensation Anne Steele has made it down to The Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zedel, Piccadilly. For a two night engagement (with the final night being tonight 2nd October 2018), Steele presents a glimpse into her life through well-known pop and musical theatre songs as she hopes to introduce herself to a new international audience.

She notices and remarks early on in the show that a strong section of the crowd seems to be her fans from the US, who have flown over to surprise her. However, people who are seeing Steele for the first time are enjoying the songstress just as much as those who have followed her through her career, spanning over two decades.

Bringing over her show ‘Welcome To The Big Top’, Steele explains the title and how she feels that in her life, she’s playing multiple roles – mother, wife, performer, LGBTQ spokesperson and activist – her life can sometimes be like a circus.

Every song in the evening has a story and Steele is an effervescent storyteller. We are taken through her childhood, her career, family and the loves and losses along the way.

Her contagious smile and simply bubbly demeanour becomes very endearing. So much so, that you feel you’re with a friend rather than just an entertainer.

With a backing band of three musicians and two soulful backing vocalists, Steele takes the stage for an hour of simple, easy fun. She mentions that she only met four out of five of them to work on this show the day before, making the results even more impressive.

Opening with the very fitting ‘Circus’ by Britney Spears, Steele treats us to other modern melodies such as La Roux’s Bulletproof, Shawn Mendes’s There’s Nothing Holding Me Back, and This Is Me from The Greatest Showman.

Steele’s highlights are her mash-ups. The energy lifts during her Shut Up and Dance (Walk The Moon) mashup with Whitney’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Even poking fun at herself for repeating verses or forgetting lyrics, we see that Steele isn’t taking herself too seriously and it makes her more appealing.

Steele first started off as a dancer and it wasn’t until a little later down the line that she focused more on singing. Working at the NYC hotspot Don’t Tell Mama for a number of years, and with her stage training, Steele has an obvious flair for the theatrics in everything she does. A delicate guitar rendition of Avenue Q’s There’s A Fine, Fine Line is a nice break from the rhythm.

With all these innovative covers, it’s actually one of Steel’s original songs that is the stand out number. ‘I Miss Those Days’ brought the room to a silence, a tear to the eye and highlighted Steele’s songwriting ability. Watch out for that coming out on her new EP in January next year!

Steele hopes that this is the beginning of many London engagements and I can’t see why it wouldn’t be. But until more dates are confirmed, get down to The Crazy Coqs tonight to see one of the US’s undeniable cabaret talents.

4 stars

Review by Tomm Ingram

1 & 2 OCTOBER | 7PM
New York singer/songwriter Anne Steele makes her London debut at Crazy Coqs with her show, Welcome to the Big Top. Here she will lead you through the three-ring circus of her life with hilarious and intimate stories weaved into a setlist ranging from high energy belting dance numbers to blow-the-roof-off ballads.

Steele will be joined on stage by musical director, William TN Hall (originally hailing from the London area but now residing in NYC), and a killer local band.

Steele is a three-time winner of New York’s prestigious Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs (MAC) Award and a two-time winner of New York’s Bistro and Nightlife Awards, both celebrating excellence in the New York music community. She has been selling out legendary venues in NYC like Joe’s Pub, XL Nightclub and City Winery for the past 8 years.

Twitter: @LiveAtZedel

Anne on Twitter @theannesteele
Facebook: therealAnneSteele
Instagram: theannesteele

Crazy Coqs
20 Sherwood Street


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