Miss-Leading Ladies at the St James Studio is a delightful homage to all those fabulous Musical Divas from the past century and siblings Ceri Dupree and Ria Jones deliver this show spectacularly and certainly do not disappoint.
This cabaret style production features musical classics as well as some hidden gems, sensational costume changes and tells the stories of all those amazing ladies from the stage and screen (in the words of Ceri Dupree “it teaches you a lesson”).
Ceri Dupree is not only an excellent drag artist and vocalist – but also an extremely talented impersonator. He has the audience in fits of laughter with his take on Ethel Merman, Lily Marlene and the fabulous Danny La Rue, to name a few. His costumes are mesmerising and his comic timing second to none and he has legs to envy.
Ria Jones is a master class in Musical Theatre. She had multiple standing ovations throughout the show for her incredible vocals and she has the audience eating out of the palm of her hand with her delightful stories of stars such as Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Doris Day and many more.
Her rendition of Edith Piaf’s “If you love me” was out of this world and had audience members in tears and to their feet before her final note was even finished.
It is wonderful to see brother and sister sharing the stage equally and it is clear how much they adore being up there together. A standout moment is when dressed identically they perform “Rose’s Turn” from “Gypsy”. This brought the audience to their feet once again. They perform together with such ease and their conversational interludes are sharp and full of wit.
This isn’t just a cabaret evening of songs – but also a delightful history lesson in the leading ladies from past times. A particular favourite for all was Jones’ medley of songs sung by divas who never made it to screen after their Broadway hits. This number featured not only a vast number of snippets from songs but was also broken up with pieces of background information that the audience were completely lapping up.
I have come away from this performance feeling on top of the world. The running order is produced so well that it completely whizzes by and before you know it you are on your feet for their final bow. A special mention also needs to go to Edward Court on piano (who also delivers some lovely vocals ) and to Sally Peerless on brass and woodwind who accompany the two “Leading Ladies” beautifully.
If I were you – I would get yourself down to the St James Studio as quickly as you can for an evening celebrating our dames of entertainment, hilarious comedic gags and bags of sparkle!
Review by Jade Louise
Starring | Ria Jones & Ceri Dupree
Director | Sarah-Louise Young
Musical Director | Edward Court
Ria Jones and Ceri Dupree star in this stunning celebration of some of the greatest grande dames of stage and screen, adding their own unique family twist. From Ethel Merman to Doris Day, Marlene Dietrich to Danny La Rue, to name a few. This gene pool of rip roaring talent will lead you astray in their dazzling revue of these illustrious leading ladies. Between them these ingenious siblings lay claim to 60 years of showbiz. Featuring the richest array of costumes scarcely seen since the heyday of La Rue, and over 20 show stopping songs and vocals that have ripped the roof off the Royal Albert Hall on more than one occasion.
Miss-Leading Ladies is a whirlpool of illusion, captivating chemistry and a delightful homage to those revered leading ladies of a bygone golden era.
Singularly sensational, but together a tour de force, when they combine their talents into a unique theatrical experience. After all, what other actress can lay claim to having played both Evita and Mrs Overall in her career, and what other actor can lay claim to have walked in the shoes of every legendary leading lady. A celebratory evening that will long remain in the memory of those quick enough to have secured tickets.