The threat of heavy rain and major traffic problems didn’t deter the 3000+ supporters who had travelled far and wide to see Alfie Boe perform in what can only be described as a wonderfully tranquil outdoor setting within Thetford Forest Park.
With umbrellas, chilled bottles of wine and champagne, picnic hampers filled to the brim and portable chairs galore the audience waited in anticipation as Alfie’s support act entered onto the stage – Laura Wright, Britain’s most exciting new soprano. Her performance was flawless and beautiful from start to finish with shouts of bravo from fellow audience members. Her performance of Summertime given the on-going threat of rain raised more than a little laughter.
Alfie Boe is probably most fondly known for his role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables after slaying 38,000 enraptured fans as Jean Valjean at the 25th Anniversary 02 concerts, the relentless standing ovations he received there continued throughout his five-month run at the Queen’s Theatre, where Alfie transformed the role, bringing a powerful new experience to musical theatre stalwarts.
Alfie’s latest album “Alfie”, further showcases his versatility and ambition, particularly with his Robert Plant team-up on Tim Buckley’s ‘Song to the Siren’.
Alfie certainly showed his versatility on this now cloudless and rain free night bringing us music from his latest album but also singing songs by the Eagles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley. The highlight of the night however has to be his rendition of “Bring Him Home” where you could have heard a pin drop had the floor not been grass. Alfie Bow is an entertainer, an amazing vocalist and left his audience shouting for more. A few people started to leave the arena once Alfie had said his goodbyes and left the stage to beat the traffic but the orchestra were showing no signs of packing away their instruments and our shouts for “more” were welcomed by Alfie as he came back on stage to sing another sing byt eh Eagles “Desperado”. Was this to be his final song of the night ? Maybe or maybe not as Alfie left the stage so Laura Wright returned to lead us into a frenzied last night of the proms style finale with the Diamond Jubilee song, ‘Stronger As One’, which HM The Queen mentioned in her Commonwealth Day Message at Westminster Abbey in March where the song was premiered followed by Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory with Alfie joining her on stage for the final last chorus of the night.
What an amazing show, 10.30pm and the audience were still buzzing from the performance of two fantastic vocalists. If you have never been to Thetford Forest Park to see a live performance I would definitely recommend it – whilst in a tranquil and relaxed setting the atmosphere is electric and one not to miss. All proceeds from the outdoor concerts go back into maintaining the forest so a very worthy cause at the same time.
Alfie is currently working on his autobiography, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in late 2012, as well as writing his own material, which he plans to develop while touring the UK, America and Australia over the coming months and Laura has just announced her first ever UK shows in September this year.
— Julie Howes, for Ipswich24—