Presented by Lauren Lee Innis-Youren
Reviewed: 14 March 2020
It’s a crystal-clear voice that’s warm, flexible and gifted to a young woman who oozes personality. From the locally sourced hummus (you had to be there) to the final resounding Diva Dance (from the 5th element) Lauren Lee Innis Youren shines like a crystal. (That name is going to cost a fortune in electricity on the billboard when her name is in lights as the star of the show!)
It’s not a pretty story, a bit like looking at a car crash when you are horrified by what’s happening but you can’t look away: it’s the story of Lauren’s battle with her body and her connection to an indominatable spirit which, in the end, prevailed. The story could be pure tragedy but Lauren manages to amuse us, and herself, with a litany of woes, and battlefields, which she has managed to overcome with her unquenchable good humour and a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Well she has been obsessed with Phantom of the Opera since she was seven!
Lauren regales us with many stories, and songs, including the story about auditioning for a world-renowned opera school. Asked what her favourite opera aria was she responded the Queen of the Night aria from Magic Flute to be told by the woman heading the audition panel that she would never be capable of singing it – well tonight, she nailed it. Clear, true and with a defiance and humour that kinda left her audience breathless.
Then there was the time she spent in a metal band, honing her operatic skills, of course. Her rendition of her heavy metal song showed Lauren is gifted with what every singer who wants to make a living out of their voice want, a crossover opera/music theatre/pop voice – gold!
Her music theatre voice is up to scratch too. Her Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera was as good as I’ve ever heard it.
Criticisms? Ditch the backdrop. If the room is as beautiful as The Ballroom at Ayers House you just don’t need it. It will also make your act look classier. Sharpen up the dialogue. It got a bit indulgent; your audience don’t want to feel your pain, they want to share in your success in overcoming the sickness that nearly killed you, and sing more. Your voice is glorious, don’t be afraid to give it top billing. Finally, keep raising two fingers to that person on the audition panel who told you that you would never sing the Queen of the Night.
And finally, thankyou Patrick, everyone needs a friend and partner in crime like you.
Reviewed by Adrian Barnes
Rating out of 5: 5 Star material