It was with great happiness that I was finally able to make it to a Jest End show. I hadn’t previously been able to attend a show despite wanting to, so was happy to spend my Easter Sunday in the company of Jest Enders Rachael Wooding, Sarah French, Ross Hunter and Mark Dugdale along with the new “Jest End ensemble”.
After a couple of “warm up acts” (including the fantastic Rock Tenors – follow on Twitter @therocktenors) we jumped right in with “So Much To Say”, and followed with “Jest End Rules”, based respectively on “one Short Day” and “Spelling Bee Rules”. From this point on it was a stomach hurting whirl wind of Jest End goodness.
As a long time fan of Forbidden Broadway, I always thought it was about time that we had a West End equivalent and Jest End fits that bill perfectly. Despite having never seen a previous show I’ve kept up with previous offerings on Youtube and I loved seeing the classic songs present along with a few newbies thrown in.
I had a few favourite moments of the show – Sarah French and Rachael Wooding raising the roof with “Rely on Me The Lead” (Defying Gravity) was immense to behold and Ross Hunter’s “I Am Barrowman” (I Am What I Am) had me and those around me in absolute stitches. “Reality TV”, sung by Sarah French was hilarious and at the same time echoe’d a lot of the thoughts on reality TV in the West End. Mark Dugdale was delightfully weird in “Reviving Old Adaptations” (Reviewing the Situation). Les Mis is always good for a parody and Jest End’s offering did not disappoint.
All in all Jest End was a treat to behold. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen any of the four leads on stage, and Rachael Wooding in particular reminded me why she entertained me so much previously. It’s always great to see a parody of the West End written by someone who knows the West End first time, and I think this is why the show rings a bell with so many.
Here’s to more Jest End! Can’t wait for the next one. (Like West End… but Jest End)