It’s been more than ten years since Lucie Jones shot to fame after reaching the finals of the X Factor, and it’s fair to say she’s had a pretty good decade. The actor and solo artist represented the United Kingdom at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, leading the UK to its best result in eight years; and has appeared in hit musicals including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You and the Wedding Singer. Last year she became a leading lady on the London stage as she took over the role of Jenna in Waitress, and earlier this week, while on a break from the show, Lucie returned to the Adelphi for her first solo West End concert in front of a packed-out crowd. Not bad at all.
Over the course of two hours Jones treated her enraptured audience (which included Waitress composer Sara Bareilles) to two hours of music, conversation and a lot of laughter. Accompanied by Musical Director and friend Freddie Tapner, along with the brilliantly talented London Musical Theatre Orchestra, she performed an array of musical showstoppers, all of which were recorded for her new live album. The show opened with Funny Girl’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’, Jones belting out the classic tune in style, proving just why she’s a deserving leading lady. Having set the bar high, Jones continued to wow as she tackled ‘Sing Happy’ a favourite of Liza Minelli’s from Flora the Red Menace. After kicking off her impressive heels, Jones then tackled ‘Summer in Ohio’ from The Last Five Years and ‘So Much Better’ from Legally Blonde, two particularly tricky songs which she performed almost effortlessly and with a delightful injection of humour.
During the evening Lucie was joined by two guest stars and well-known musical performers. In the first act she paired up with John Owen-Jones to perform ‘Prayer’, the first live performance of the song outside of a hospitality box at Twickenham; while in the second act she was joined by Waitress co-star Marisha Wallace, the pair raising the roof with a sizzling performance of Rent’s ‘Take Me For What I Am’.
The second act was equally enjoyable, with Jones slowing the evening down with beautiful renditions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s ‘God Help The Outcasts’ and ‘Moon River’ from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. After performing her Eurovision hit ‘Never Give Up On You’, Jones rounded off the evening with ‘That’s Life’ (incidentally the Katherine McPhee arrangement), and a homeage to Les Mis.
In amongst the music Jones entertained the audience with hilarious and heart-warming stories from her past, and paid tribute to those who helped her, including her family, co-stars and her agent, Gav. It was he who suggested the closing song of act one, Yentl’s ‘A Piece of Sky’, to prove Jones wasn’t just a ‘belter’, but with a cheeky smile she revealed the song was changed so that she could indeed belt. During the evening she discussed her career, from ‘normal’ jobs such as a hotel room cleaner, where she came to the aid of a guest with embarrassing consequences; to her audition for Waitress, the role of Jenna a dream came true. One of the highlights of the night was Jones’s performance of ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress. ‘The song that changed my life,’ she informed the audience before giving an incredible performance of the hit, receiving a standing ovation in response.
There’s no denying that Jones is hugely talented, and she demonstrated that time and time again as she nailed every song on her playlist, giving it her all. It was clear she was having an absolute ball, and there’s something very special about watching someone’s dream come true in front of your eyes. Above all, Jones proved she had a human side, genuinely humbled by the reception she received and clearly amazed that what she’d initially anticipated was going to be a ‘little soiree’ at Zedel had soon escalated. Jones put in an energetic and thoroughly enjoyable performance and the live orchestra added to the atmosphere. With an incredible range, a down to earth demeanour and bags of charm, Jones proved she thoroughly deserves her success.
Photo credit: Cornershop PR