Review - Singular Sensations (Jon Robyns)

When Jon Robyns, a performer whom I really admire, announced that he would be appearing as part of the Singular Sensations series, I was very curious and I decided to grab myself a ticket. As well as appearing in several of my favourite shows in the past, most recently he was the alternate for the lead male role in Memphis, a show which I like quite a lot (okay, this is probably the biggest understatement ever! I’ll have seen the show 11 times by the time it closes next week!) And I had also meant to go along to several Singular Sensations concerts in the past, but for one reason or another I never quite made it.
Running for just over an hour and a half, it made for a thoroughly entertaining afternoon. Edward Seckerson hosted brilliantly, asking some interesting questions and sharing some fascinating theatre trivia. Meanwhile Jon Robyns was captivating. He shared some brilliant stories (and some very impressive namedrops!) and performed a great variety of songs throughout the course of the afternoon. At the very beginning it was a treat to hear Jon sing, accompanied by one of his Avenue Q puppet counterparts, Princeton. Later we heard some familiar songs such as ‘Moving Too Fast’ from The Last 5 Years (one of my all-time favourite musicals! For that reason this was probably my favourite song of the afternoon) which were interwoven with some songs which I was less familiar with (i.e. ‘Ink’ from Dessa Rose). He also performed ‘Left Behind’ from Spring Awakening, which features on his album. Incidentally I had intended to buy a physical copy of the album of the day, but they had all sold out, so I’ll have to make do with my digital version for now…definitely worth checking out in my opinion though.

Along with the songs and anecdotes, Jon also shared a lot of invaluable advice for young and aspiring performers, which I found genuinely helpful and motivating (I now know where to look during a singing audition, something I’d always wondered about but, at this point in my life, felt too foolish to ask!).

So all in all, I had an absolutely fabulous afternoon. A while back Mark Shenton wrote an article for The Stage about current West End leading men, and it comes as no surprise that Jon Robyns’ name appeared on the list. As well as having a fantastic voice, he also has a genuinely warm and congenial persona. I’m so glad I attended his show and am looking forward to seeing him in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang over the Christmas period.

I’m sure I’ll also be returning to the charmingly cosy Charing Cross Theatre again soon, to catch another Singular Sensations show. I really enjoyed myself and for that reason I really recommend checking out this season’s other guests too, because I’d say that an afternoon like this is a must-see for any musical theatre fan!