Carrie Hope Fletcher started her career in musical theatre at the grand old age of nine, playing the young Eponine in Les Misérables. Since then she has played a large number of roles in various musicals including the adult Eponine and Fantine and the first UK Veronica in Heathers The Musical. Here in An Open Book she takes a retrospective look at her career and her life through anecdote and song. Taking the order of story and song seemingly from an online source, for each anecdote she ‘reads’ from a different book. Stories of her childhood, adulthood and from various shows are followed by a relevant track. After her opening song Another Chapter, she goes into There Are Worse Things I Could Do from Grease.
Her songs range from Les Misérables, Heathers, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Treason interspersed with her favourite McFly song, Bubblewrap, in tribute to her brother, and a My Chemical Romance cover after a tale about her emo phase at the age of fourteen. The inclusion of Pulled from the musical version of The Addams Family is much appreciated by the audience.
The evening passes quickly with Act One closing with I Say No from Heathers and Act Two closing with The Life I Never Led from Sister Act.
Carrie Hope Fletcher has an engaging and gently funny personality as she emerges from playing characters on stage to playing a version of herself. Her stories are wittily told, and she is never ashamed to poke fun at herself as well as the occasional prod at her big brother Tom. One about when as Eponine, she is stuck up a ladder during another song and how she and the actor playing Gavroche kept themselves entertained, is especially delightful.
For the show, Carrie is backed by a five piece band consisting of guitar, piano, violin, cello and viola. The live music making a strong impact on the ambience of the performance.
Before Carrie comes on stage there is a brief recital by a male vocal group Trinity. Of various Irish origin, their performance is neither original nor interesting. Three classic Irish songs, followed by three musicals numbers. Performed to a backing track, the sound balance was wrong and the audience interaction stereotypical.
Thankfully Carrie Hope Fletcher eradicates the memory of the underwhelming support act and makes the evening entertaining and fun. There are still some sound balance issues for her, but these are smaller and less obvious.
Carrie Hope Fletcher, despite only being thirty, has a wealth of experience behind her and coupling that with her amazing voice and charming personality makes this an evening well worth going to.
Reviewer: Helen Jones
Reviewed: 28th May 2023
North West End UK Rating: