Charlie’s Girls


As an homage to Charles Miller, a British composer with over 25 years of compositions the Union theatre celebrates his works with a selection of songs. For fans of Miller’s work this homage would be an enjoyable experience to hear fan-favourite songs. For those unfamiliar with Miller it may be a good opportunity to expand the repertoire. The songs range from different styles, from operatic to a more jazz-like style and the cast’s voices cannot be faulted. Familiar west end faces Melissa Jacques (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Wicked), Luceylle Cliffe (Legally Blond, Les Misérables) and Emma Odell (Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia) take the stage in order to blow the audience away with their vocal power and their admiration for the man of the night.

Despite the undeniable incredible voices the production encounters several problems, especially in the first act. The energy delivered was somewhat static. The first act consists of the three talented performers on stage singing, alternating between the trio, solo and duets. However there is a sense of detachment as they stand in a forma line, offering brief contextual explanations before bursting into song. While their admiration for Miller is unmistakable, the essence of cabaret – a lively rapport with the audience and the sharing of personal anecdote or introspective insights into the song’s significance – is regrettably absent.

Remarkably, these problems were miraculously fixed in the second act. The disruption of the microphone arrangement signals a shift, as they move to handhelds and they step into the spotlight anew. They talk about their personal connections to the songs and whether catalysed by an on stage mishap or the palpable heat within the theatre, the renewed engagement with the audience allows for intimacy to the latter half of the show and allows the material to connect in a more profound way.

While the production might benefit from more refinement, it offers an enjoyable experience. It’s an opportunity to delve into the music of Charles Miller. Those familiar with his oeuvre, the show is a chance to relish his compositions anew with a fantastic vocal talents. For those unaware of the of Miller, it serves as an introduction into his musical works.