Reviews from Paul's pen

Reviews from Paul's pen


Anne Reid

Review by: Paul Towers, 17 February 2016
Anne Reid – I love to sing
Curve Studio Wednesday 17th February 2016

“stories from a national treasure”

What better on a cold and rainy Wednesday night than to snuggle down in Curve’s intimate studio space for a cosy evening of songs and stories from national treasure Anne Reid.
Ms Reid has been a working actress for more than 60 years and has a fund of anecdotes from her rich and varied career.
Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne (surprisingly) she was schooled in North Wales and went to RADA. Her big break came in 1961 when she joined the cast of Coronation Street as Albert Tatlock’s daughter and Ken Barlow’s first wife. She stayed with the soap for 10 years, off and on, before being killed off, at her own request, and leaving to do other things.
In recent years Ms Reid has been best known for roles in Victoria Woods’ Dinnerladies, the revival of Upstairs Downstairs, ITV’s Ladies of Letters and of course her current starring role in Last Tango In Halifax. Despite a long break form acting while she brought up her son, Anne Reid has hardly been out of work and her current cabaret act is a nice little filler between longer jobs.
While it has to be said that Anne Reid is not a trained musical theatre singer she has a very pleasant voice that carries a tune accurately. Her anecdotes are amusingly self deprecating but her lack of experience with telling stories on stage does mean she tends to talk over the laughs, of which there are many.
I feel that now is as good a time as any to criticise the Studio’s sound system. It needs some major rethinking. The speakers for the in house sound are up high and to the side. When a solo performer is on stage this provides a very inaccurate direction for the sound. I was sitting on the left hand side, halfway back so the sound was booming out directly in front of me while Ms Reid was centre stage. Very disconcerting. For a solo performer it would make much better acoustic sense to have the speakers lower down and closer together so the illusion of  directional sound would be more accurate.
I Love To Sing is touring for the rest of the month.
First published on Western Gazette

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