When? Tuesday 5th February 2013
Who? Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway et al – full list here.
In my life, I’ve made no secret of my love – some could even argue obsession – with Les Misérables. If I had to, I’m sure I could recite the entire libretto (and, even more worryingly, many of the stage directions and technical cues) by heart. I’m certainly not alone in being a young(ish!) person whose affinity with theatre of all flavours began with “The Glums”. As a child, I found musicals somewhat unappealing; all that dancing around, bursting into song – it’s just not cricket. Or, in my case, football. Sure, The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and even Mary Poppins are fun, carefree ways to spend a rainy afternoon for many, including my older self, but to me they aren’t the musical theatre that I fell in love with. Les Misérables doesn’t trifle with flying cars, magic handbags or
singing nuns in convents (Ed. have you seen the movie?). Les Miz is a dark, dramatic and hugely emotional three hour journey into a world of war, death and famine, with a cast of characters it is impossible to view as anything other than tragic heroes. Les Misérables transcends the ‘musical’ bit of musical theatre; I view it as a majestically scored, entirely sung through play. The original, finest and unquestioned masterpiece of the last three decades of British theatre.
This is why I can’t keep away. I have seen the West End production in excess of thirty times – on occasion simply to see a friend or highly rated cast give their take(s) on a character already performed by hundreds of other actors around the world. Every cast change I am there, every new production. I am incredibly blinkered and defensive about a show – sorry, a franchise – a multi-million pound brand to which I owe and am owed no affinity – simply because it stirs such strong emotions. But last year, the love affair ended, or so I thought:
In August 2012 I made a simply horrendous visit to the West End production, a little over a month into the run of the new (present, as of February 2013) cast and was left feeling angry and bemused. Practically the only show in town charging full price, understandably given that the Friday night I attended was a sell-out, was looking tired and frankly in the worst shape I’d seen it since the dark, dying days at the Palace. The cast were too young; only a few experienced heads dotted inbetween the drama school leavers and talent show runner ups. The direction was loose and erratic, the wide-eyed Duracell Bunny youngsters, full of beans and trying very hard atop the barricade simply looked lost. Unforgivably, some key lines were even lost due to the incidental over-acting of the keen-to-impress young turns, randomly crying out ‘in character’ with such gems as “Yeah, kill him!” (after capturing the undercover Javert), and, best of all, a truly Braveheartesque “FREEEEEDOOOOOMMMMMMM” during the ‘Final Battle’ from one over-zealous student). Ken Caswell wouldn’t have stood for such hijinx. The cast themselves were just okay (not helped by the fact that star turn Sierra Boggess was off sick, despite spending most of the same day tweeting about yoga classes, yoghurt and Yogi Bear – ed. careful of libel).
I felt disheartened. The cuts were one thing, the thin, stretched orchestra were another. These are sacrifices one has taken on the chin over the years since Les Mis Lite opened at the Queens Theatre way back in 2003. But it felt like the candle had gone out, the love affair had ended. Les Misérables was no longer the vast, beautiful, soaring masterpiece I remembered. It had become a watered-down love story about a group of attractive, similar looking twenty-somethings fresh from Arts Ed and Mountview, with triple-threat abilities and great physiques who couldn’t look anything less like a group of malnourished, down-on-their-luck revolutionaries. From memory, the only cast member who looked older than thirty was Jean Valjean, Argentine Geró Rauch, who unfortunately had an accent so thick it deemed his performance unintelligible to most.
And then, in December, I was sent a demo copy of the Les Misérables movie musical soundtrack, and I declined to review it, such was my negative reaction.
How wrong I was.
Coming tomorrow… Part 2: The Movie Review
- Harry Zing
Interview: Actor/Director Cameron Jack on leaving the South Pacific, The Dark Knight Rises and a blossoming movie career..
Fresh from Bartlett Sher’s incredible production of South Pacific – which came to an end this week after a very successful UK touring spell – I caught up with cast member, Scottish actor/director Cameron Jack to discuss the show, his directorial work and the little matter of a featured appearance in The Dark Knight Rises…
You’ve recently been playing and covering Luther Billis in the fantastic UK tour of South Pacific, with the tour coming to an end, can you tell us about your experiences on the show?
When I got the South Pacific offer I actually had two other offers on the table, I could’ve gone out to Germany to do Rocky Horror for seven months, or I could’ve done All the Fun of the Fair – I was desperate to work with director Nikolai Foster, I still am! When the South Pacific offer came in, I did my research and saw it had won so many awards; obviously you want to be associated with a show that you know is quality.
Working with (director) Bartlett Sher was an amazing experience, it didn’t get any better than that. The guy is a theatrical genius, he’s brilliant – one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever worked with, and also with Christopher Gattelli who’s just won the Tony Award for Newsies on Broadway, they made the whole job worthwhile. I’ve always liked working with Americans coming over to the UK. Bart had done his research on the show inside out; his direction was all about the trip of the piece as a serious story; unfortunately for me, that meant I had to cut back on the comedy which, playing Stewpot, I found quite difficult, because I like to do new stuff every night! But I thought it was beautifully staged and incredibly well cast, Sam (Womack) was brilliant and Alex (Ferns) was great too. Alex made a fantastic job of the comedy playing Billis – he unfortunately got a back injury in Birmingham which meant I got a couple of weeks on – it’s a really high energy, up-tempo role and as an understudy you can never ever tell just how hard it’s going to be when you’re playing it – but you learn soon enough! I think it was a real classic R&H show and touring audiences absolutely loved it.
You have a very illustrious CV, you’ve originated roles in We Will Rock You and The Drowsy Chaperone as well as appearing in Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre. Away from musicals, you have acted in and directed numerous plays, appeared in a variety of television shows and now you can be seen on the big screen; how much importance would you put in a varied CV?
What you’re looking for an as actor are good credits and good directors; where I think some actors can fall down, particularly in musicals, is staying in the same show too long or staying in the same genre too long. What I’ve always tried to do is mix it up a bit; I always tell younger actors that if you want an interesting career, try and mix genres up. I was fortunate that my first job out of college was at Regents Park, so that my first two roles were Shakespeare and the next one was a musical, then I got a telly role, then I got a Christmas show then another telly, then a straight play… what happens is casting directors can’t say “well, that’s a musical theatre actor”, they have to look at you and take you a little more seriously, because you’ve covered different genres.
You have considerable directorial experience on the fringe..
I’m directing Lord of the Flies at Catford Broadway Theatre in September; which I think is my fifteenth play. I have directed bigger budget productions, but what I most enjoy are plays on the fringe – you can just step off the stage and pass what you’ve learned throughout your career onto younger actors.
Which aspect of performing do you enjoy most?
If I had to pick one single thing, it would be acting for camera. That’s what I’ve always absolutely loved. When I did my first telly role in 1995, I kind of realised that was where my heart lay. But as an actor, unless you’re very lucky or you evolve in a certain way, you have to move around to keep working. I’ve had a lovely and varied stage career, but perhaps now at 40 it doesn’t fill me with as much excitement as my other ventures.
I want to congratulate you on being the first movie star we’ve ever interviewed at Chewing the Scenery! How did your role in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, come about?
I felt like I needed a new challenge, that I was repeating myself month after month – year after year – I was directing a lot, I was doing a lot of musicals.. My agent, Claire Saunders – who is fantastic, said to me, “What sort of thing would you like to do?” and I said “Get me into a film. It’s been a while!”. It’s no secret that when you audition for Chris Nolan, you don’t know what you’re auditioning for when you go in. The Dark Knight Rises had the working title of Magnus Rex - and when you’re auditioning for him, the whole thing is top secret! So I went along to Spotlight in Central London to meet a lovely casting director named Toby Whale, who I’d never met before. They’d sent me a scene where I had to mug somebody and basically I had to do this scene two or three times, while they moved around with a camera. I must’ve been in for maybe five minutes before I left; you know when you leave whether you’re right for something or not and I felt I’d done well. I’ve got nine tattoos, I’m 5’6”, I’m Glaswegian and I’m stocky. In film you tend to work in the area you look like, and since I left Mountview (Theatre School) at 24, every so often I’ve played these darker roles. Thugs, drug dealers, wife beaters, junkies, whatever, so it’s not an area I’m unfamiliar with!
How did the process compare to casting calls for the stage or television?
This is what I find bizarre, you’re working at the very top level in the world of entertainment, yet they make decisions so quickly! For example, when I did We Will Rock You, I had six call backs – I had five call backs for South Pacific.. and it gets more and more difficult the closer you get to the job. When I got The Dark Knight Rises, Chris Nolan saw the tapes and made the decision within a few days. I auditioned on the Tuesday, I was given the job the following Tuesday and I was on set the Tuesday after that. It’s mind-blowing!
It must have been a very special experience…
It was an amazing experience just to be in the film and see yourself up there. To be honest, when I was in the cinema watching these Hollywood blockbusters I always hoped that I would one day get the opportunity. It wasn’t everything I hoped it would be – it was like 250 times more! It was an incredible experience and we were unbelievably well treated. I worked with Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy and they were absolutely fantastic. The highlight for me was working with Gary Oldman – he’s an absolute hero of mine. I remember seeing him in an Alan Clarke movie called The Firm in the eighties thinking ‘This guy is just incredible’ – he lit the screen up, and has done in every single thing that he has done since. To stand next to someone like that, to be able to act with them, to pick up tips, was amazing – he is a genius. We had the cast and crew screening in Leicester Square; it was so well put together, beautifully shot, tied up and written. I absolutely loved the film, it was just a fantastic experience.
Are you a fan of the Batman franchise?
I had seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight – obviously Heath Ledger’s performance was probably the most memorable part of that movie. I am generally a fan of good directors – and good movies, I loved Inception, I loved Insomnia, I loved Memento... (all Christopher Nolan movies). I’m a massive, massive fan of Chris; people forget he produces, which is not to be underestimated, and he also co-writes the movies with his brother.
I was only on set for a week, but I learnt so much. What I noticed about The Dark Knight Rises was how high the stakes are – how important it is that you get it right. There’s not a lot of mucking around or laughing and joking as there are on some other types of job, it’s a very high stakes set and that’s exactly how it should be, because there’s a lot riding on it.
You have a featured role in a record-breaking Christopher Nolan Batman movie; your stock in the casting room must be high right now…
I’ve just had an audition for a new Ridley Scott movie, which I’m keeping my fingers crossed for! It’s playing a hitman – the usual! (laughs), it’s called The Counselor and it has an unbelievable cast. It proves to me that I’ve done the right thing already. I’m waiting to hear about Kick-Ass 2 and I was also cast by Tom Hooper in the Les Miserables feature film which was due to film in February/March while I was doing South Pacific, so unfortunately that didn’t work out.
Most actors I know tend to go the small independent route first…
I’d really love to! There’s a couple of those that haven’t come off, because I’d been working in theatre or the dates didn’t fit. I’d love to do some independent film – it doesn’t always pay well – often, it doesn’t pay at all! But fortunately my agent has helped me cross into different areas and they would be perfectly happy for me to do an independent film or a television role, as long as it felt like it was the right move.
Classic cliché question time – which roles would you love to play on the stage?
I suppose I might be a little different to some actors you might come across in that I don’t really covet any of the musical theatre roles – although I did when I was younger. I can give you a favourite role I played on stage; I was fortunate enough to play Begbie in the stage version of Trainspotting in 1996 opposite Gerard Butler. That was the pinnacle on the stage for me, very early – only a year out of college, but I loved it because I could identify with that type of writing, being Scottish and working class – and also being a huge fan. I loved the book, I loved the play, I loved the movie – to play Begbie was brilliant. There are rumours they might be doing a prequel to Trainspotting called Porno on stage; if they ever brought Begbie back to the stage, I would love to play him again. I’d also love to do another Shakespeare, maybe The Scottish Play – I’m not gonna say it – but I’d like to play that part. I also like discovering new shows – We Will Rock You. was my favourite experience of doing a musical; everything you do as a cast, and bring to the performance, people are still doing ten years later. It is a very weird experience! I wouldn’t find as much thrill now in taking over in a musical, because the template is already set and I might feel restricted by that. I wouldn’t rule out a new musical, but because of my height and build, unless it’s a comedy part or an understudy role, I don’t fit into the classic leading man thing, that’s not where I’m put, which in the end means you can play the more interesting parts!
Cameron Jack is currently appearing in The Dark Knight Rises in cinemas worldwide and Lord of the Flies opens in September at the Broadway Theatre, Catford. Follow him on Twitter @rentathug
Hello and welcome to Zing’s Record Collection – join me as I run my eye over the latest cast recordings and musical theatre album releases. Today I’ll be giving a listen to the full debut album from one of British musical theatre’s top talents, John Owen-Jones, titled ‘Unmasked’ released April 2012 by Sain.
John Owen-Jones has been one of the top names in the West End for a decade. He has donned the mask as The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times in several different stints in the West End and, currently, the new touring production – and has donned Marius a similar number of times, carrying the felled student from the barricades as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, a role he has played to much critical acclaim on Broadway and beyond. In ‘Unmasked’, ignoring the punny title, Owen-Jones chooses songs from a wide spectrum of musical theatre which includes all of his greatest hits, such as ‘The Music of the Night’, ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘Hallelujah’ – the latter being a remix his 2006 debut EP’s title track. With his strong fanbase duly appeased, Owen-Jones can focus on showing off his fabulous voice in a number of songs new to his repertoire.
The vocal bravado of Frank Wildhorn’s ‘This is the Moment’ is perfect for Owen-Jones’ powerhouse style and he duly delivers, with the number proving the stand-out track of the album. ‘Til I Hear You Sing’ is beautifully realised and Owen-Jones really tries to make the number his own. ‘All I Ask of You’, with pop-opera soprano Natasha Marsh, is as well sung as any rendition I have heard over the years.
‘Down to the Sea’ from Kristina is a moment of understated clarity and beauty and a superb, if unexpected, choice. Kander/Ebb songs seem to be like buses; you wait an eternity for a quality singer to record one, then two come along in as many months; The beautiful ‘I Don’t Remember You/Sometimes a Day Goes By’ medley from the duo’s underrated musical revue And the World Goes ‘Round was also featured on Martin Dickinson’s debut EP, drawing a rave review from yours truly. Owen-Jones boasts a big name joining him the shape of opera singer Bryn Terfel, the result is a very well sung medley, which, whilst different in style from ‘storytelling’ approach of Dickinson/Abigail Jaye’s rendition, is equally as enjoyable in its own way and is supremely well sung.
It is not all plain sailing, however. The album gets off to an underwhelming start with two curious choices, the drab ‘Nature Boy’ from Moulin Rouge and a slightly bizarre resurrection of Tom Jones’ 1786 hit ‘Thunderball’. Owen-Jones has publicly stated his admiration for countryman Jones and I just hope he doesn’t try and audition for ‘The Voice’.* Sondheim’s ‘Being Alive’ – possibly my favourite song from musical theatre – is nicely sung, but perhaps lacking in the required emotive qualities required for the part and by definition the song. I must also confess to being a little bit disappointed that Owen-Jones opted not to record his singing live with the orchestra, which leads to some albeit minor errors with rhythm and slightly elongated notes to match the music. This is particularly noticeable in ‘The Music of the Night’ but is present throughout.
‘Unmasked’ is a hugely successful and enjoyable album and shows what Owen-Jones is capable of, outside of the two roles for which he is almost exclusively known. Hopefully, now ‘unmasked’, we will see Owen-Jones expand his horizons and explore other stage opportunities to no doubt further critical success.
- Harry Zing
*It would be very uncomfortable to see another top British musical theatre star get rebuked by the likes of William “Bill”.i.am.
Hello and welcome to ‘Zing’s Record Collection’; join me as I review the very best (and worst) of musical theatre recordings, past and present.
In the next two editions I will be taking a closer look at the solo recorded work of the darling of British musical theatre, Ramin Karimloo (Love Never Dies, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables). In this first part I will be specifically reviewing his independent début solo LP ‘Within the Six Square Inch’, released in 2004 by Ramin K Productions/Shellwood Productions. Join me in the coming days for Part 2 – an exclusive review of his upcoming full début album, ‘Ramin’, to be released on the 5th of March by Sony CMG.
In 2002, Ramin Karimloo was a jobbing but promising young Canadian actor performing in the ensemble of Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables. Whilst he did understudy and play the role of Marius on several occasions (I saw him perform in the role and found him excellent), it was not until he was cast by resident director and soon-to-be longtime collaborator Lawrence Connor as Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the end of the following year, that he would establish himself as a major upcoming talent in British musical theatre. In 2004, whilst still at Phantom, the ambitious Karimloo released his début LP titled ‘Within the Six Square Inch’, an eight track CD.
The most striking thing about this CD is just how strange the song choices are. At the time, Karimloo was a relative unknown with only two previous professional roles to his name in the West End. One would not have blamed Karimloo for simply turning out an album of popular showtunes. Often, a solo album is used as an opportunity for a performer to showcase their cast-ability for numerous roles he or she would like to be considered for; essentially a commercial audition tape – Karimloo decided to try something completely different by delving into the back catalogues of lesser-known musicals with some interesting choices..
Opening the album, Karimloo gives a powerful and emotional ‘Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?’, Harburg/Gorney’s jazzy 1931 Broadway number about an angry young man’s hopelessness after the Great Depression. Switching less-than-subtly from the moody early 1930′s to the grungy late 90′s, Karimloo gives us his ‘One Song Glory’ from Rent. In the context of the musical, the character Roger is fantasising about writing a great song to leave as a legacy, as he is dying of AIDS. Karimloo fancies himself as a bit of a rock star but it has to be said, this number is not his finest hour. His ‘rock edge’ vocal which he affects at will feels a touch contrived and unnatural to me. I have never been a fan of Rent and it is the only number on the album which sounds identikit. Up next is another, very different track about AIDS titled ‘At Least I Know What’s Killing Me’, a truly ghastly song from The Last Session, a failed Off-Broadway musical. Steve Schalchin, about whom the story is based (according to sources) is ‘credited’ with the awful lyrics Karimloo hollers out as he shouts his way through the turgid mess. Lines like: “I’d rather be me with AIDS, than to have to be you without it!” have no place being sung, sorry – shouted – on a CD like this, especially when completely out of context of any narrative drive.
Karimloo is joined by friend and future collaborator Hadley Fraser (The Far Pavilions, The Pirate Queen, Les Misérables) for a beautiful rendition of Billy Joel’s ‘New York State of Mind’. Both singers nail this number and their voices compliment each others wonderfully well; it is no surprise that they have since formed a band together and perform semi-regularly, when other engagements allow. Although not really a musical theatre number (it did feature for a time in Billy Joel’s flop musical Movin’ Out) it is the strongest number on the album and shows Karimloo’s versatility in a much more positive way than the previous track! Up next is some pure stock musical theatre, a lovely rendition of ‘Maria’ from West Side Story. Karimloo would make a wonderful Tony and this song stands out for all the right reasons; individual but believable, Karimloo even manages to nail the tricky higher parts where other singers often struggle. For Elton John’s ‘Written in the Stars’ from the musical Aida, Karimloo is joined by Sophia Ragavelas (Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, Never Forget) herself once a superb Eponine in the early days of the show’s switch to the Queen’s Theatre. Karimloo appears to struggle a little here, his high belt straining a little, particularly on the ears. Ragavelas is fine and fares a little better than Karimloo, but the song isn’t particularly memorable. In fact, the album rather tails off from here; ‘Lullaby’, another Billy Joel number is not even one of Billy Joel’s better songs, so why Karimloo chooses to coo it is beyond me – perhaps it had a special meaning to him. Either way, by the time we reach the finale – and second song from Aida – ‘Radames Letter’, the album has almost run out of puff; rather than going out with a rock n’ roll bang, Karimloo purrs his way through the short number perfectly ably but forgettably.
As I said at the start of the review; one can’t help but come away feeling a little confused by the song choices and, as a result, maybe a touch underwhelmed by the LP as an experience. For the most part, Karimloo sings well, but is let down by the material he has chosen to sing; whilst ‘Buddy Can You Spare a Dime?’, ‘New York State of Mind’ and ‘Maria’ impress, ‘At Least I Know What’s Killing Me’ is offensive and the album goes rather go out with a whimper.
Karimloo does deserve credit for choosing songs which perhaps are rather less commonly recorded, but I feel a full album of popular musical theatre songs would have perhaps given those who bought the album a lot more to enjoy as well as being a good deal more flattering to Karimloo’s considerable talents.
In Part 2 I will be reviewing Karimloo’s upcoming full début album release, ‘Ramin’.
- Harry Zing
Hello and welcome to ‘Zing’s Record Collection’; join me as I review the very best (and worst) of musical theatre recordings, past and present.
In the last edition, I took a retrospective look at Ramin Karimloo’s 2004 debut solo EP ‘Within the Six Square Inch’; whilst I found it perhaps not the finished article, it is certainly an album which showcased Karimloo’s unique vocals and future recording potential nicely. In this second and final part, I will be giving a listen to Karimloo’s full debut album titled ‘Ramin’, which is set to receive a major release on the 5th of March by Sony CMG.
After leaving the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera in 2004 for stints in Les Misérables (Enjolras) and Miss Saigon (Chris, UK Tour), Ramin Karimloo was to return to Phantom to fulfill a career-long dream: to perform the role of the masked mad man himself. During his time at Phantom, Karimloo arguably succeeded in attracting a new generation of fans to the show – and certainly won his own dedicated fan base along the way. After a cameo in the dreadful 2004 Phantom movie adaption (thank you, Joel Schmacher), Karimloo was given the opportunity by long-time mentor Andrew Lloyd Webber to originate the role of ‘The Phantom’ in the long-awaited sequel Love Never Dies. Whilst the show was perhaps not the commercial or artistic success Lloyd Webber had hoped for, Karimloo was given a unique opportunity to showcase his talent, and the hype and exposure which surrounded the production certainly helped thrust him into the mainstream in his own right.
‘Ramin’, an upbeat pop-rock inspired album certainly reflects Karimloo’s long-held determination to be recognised outside of musical theatre. Indeed, for the most part Karimloo steers well clear of the typical musical theatre standards one would expect to hear, opting instead for a real variety of styles ranging from the radio friendly pop-rock of the first single to be released ‘Coming Home’, written by Ryan Tedder (recently Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’, Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’), to Muse’s ‘Guiding Light’. The audience-friendly power-ballad comes in the shape of Bryan Adams’ record-breaking ‘Everything I Do (I Do It for You)’.
Unfortunately, the songwriting credits have not been made public. I do know though from various press releases pieced together from across the internet that Karimloo has song-writing credit for at least four of the album’s tracks, including ‘Constant Angel’, a heartfelt ballad with seemingly religious connotations; ‘with every prayer I am constantly there with you’, is one such lyric which doesn’t help to avert the feeling of an (albeit fairly passive) religious message which is carried throughout the album. ‘Show Me Light’, the album’s opener is one such example; a song which sounds fresh from any one of many Christian-rock bands which are so popular in the United States.* The aforementioned ‘Coming Home’ sounds somewhat like the X-Factor’s ‘winners song’ – just give it a listen, you’ll see what I mean! But it is when Karimloo is singing from the soul that he is most potent; the final track on the album, ‘Cathedrals’, is actually a single recorded track so good it deserves to start its own paragraph.
‘Cathedrals’ feels like the accumulation of an album’s hard work. A cover of ‘Jump Little Children’s stirring ballad, a song made famous by Joan Osborne, ‘Cathedrals’ is beautifully and emotionally sung by Karimloo as he manages to soften his notoriously powerfully brash tone and truly give the most tender and memorable performance of his career to date. Fans of Karimloo’s stage work will not be disappointed however; there is a quickened pop version of ‘Music of the Night’ and, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the strongest songs from Karimloo’s stage repertoire ‘Til I Hear You Sing’, from Love Never Dies, makes an appearance.
‘Ramin’ provides a satisfying twelve tracks of listener-friendly pop rock without necessarily pushing any boundaries in the genre; Karimloo, must be praised however for giving such a heartfelt and high quality performance with this, his first professional recording with Sony CMG. Karimloo has been equally brave and business savvy in choosing to co-write several tracks on the album, giving him a certain credibility which cross-over artists vie for. The album as a whole sounds alike to the modern day ‘Take That’, inoffensive, marketable and with musical integrity, an album which is sure to appeal to Ramin’s existing fans and, if marketed right, a certain record-buying demographic.
Karimloo is currently playing Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Misérables and is known to be persuing other ventures both in and away from the theatre. Whilst the quality of the works in terms of both effort and performance is without question, whether or not the album is to be a success is an answer only his key target demographic can provide.
‘Ramin’ is available to purchase from 5th of March, released by Sony CMG.
- Harry Zing
*After discussing this album with a arts professional colleague it occured to us just how ‘American’ this album feels. Having travelled across the US extensively, I contend that many of this album’s tracks with the religious overtones / soft-rock accessibility would make ‘Ramin’ perfectly accessible to the US radio airwaves. Perhaps this was the intention at least in part for ‘Ramin’s sound?