Theatre Review: Marina Prior – A Christmas Celebration

Christmas came early for Adelaide audiences with a special Christmas performance by Marina Prior on 3rd December


Presented by KMPR
Reviewed 3 December 2021

For as long as I can remember, it’s been a family tradition to sit down on Christmas Eve and watch Carols By Candlelight on the TV. One of the highlights every year for me is a performance by Marina Prior. 

Christmas came early for Adelaide audiences with a special Christmas performance by Marina on Friday December 3. The Regal Theatre was a fitting venue for Marina’s A Christmas Celebration. This was Marina’s second solo concert since the pandemic practically shut down the arts industry, and you could feel her joy at being able to perform in front of an audience again.

A Christmas Celebration was exactly that: a celebration of all things Christmas – the music, the warmth and the joy. Marina wove together stories of family Christmas memories, highlights from her many performances on Carols By Candlelight, and her career in the musical theatre industry. It was very clear that Marina loves being on stage in front of an audience. She was warm, endearing, funny, and heartfelt. Her voice is one of those voices that you could just listen to forever. I have seen Marina perform several times over the years, in both musicals and solo concerts, and it is always apparent why she is one of Australia’s most sought after leading ladies. 

Among the string of Christmas classics, Marina threw in a Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber medley (including songs from Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom Of The Opera) and a sensational version of Music Of The Night. However, it was in the Celtic Hymn Be Thou My Vision to close Act One and a stunning arrangement of Auld Lang Syne to close the show that Marina really shone. She shared family connections to Celtic music and memories of singing songs with her family leading into the Act One finale, and that Christmas family warmth really radiated through Marina’s performance of these two numbers.

Marina was joined by her musical director, David Cameron, on piano and guitar, as well as five local Adelaide musicians: John McDermott on drums, Nick Sinclair on double bass and electric bass, Helen Ayers and Katherine Quirk on violins and Kate Hwang on cello. This ensemble was sublime and the arrangements were perfectly suited to highlight and carry Marina’s voice. It is a constant reminder how blessed we are here in Adelaide with such fine musicians calling our state home.

Kathryn McGowan, producer, should be applauded for getting this show off the ground, leaping through border restrictions, COVID outbreaks and goodness knows what else to make this show happen.

Leading into the silly season, Marina’s A Christmas Celebration was the perfect night to sit back and be reminded of the warmth, joy and love that this season brings.

Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff
Twitter: @theartsislife

Season Ended

Rating out of 5: 5

#Adelaide #Christmas #MarinaPrior #Livetheatre

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