gigs: Pitgems at the Battersea Barge

In the evening after seeing For Joanna at the Battersea Barge, a friend and I had stayed at the Barge and decided to attend the gig that was happening in the evening with Pitgems Creative Theatre Company to raise money for future projects. The evening was billed with a lot of variety, with a comedian hosting and various acts performing including musical theatre numbers, comedy numbers and original songs, there was also magic in the evening! There were also opportunities to win a big teddy bear with a “Guess the Name” game, a raffle and other fun games.

Regardless of only knowing a couple of people performing in the evening, my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The host, Thomas J Hewitt, was genuinely hilarious while welcoming us to the show and introducing guests which made for a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. All of the singers performing were brilliantly, unfortunately I don’t have a set-list or anything to remember them all by but the range of vocal styles we were treated to was brilliant. A lot of the performers were either still in training or only recently graduated so it’s great to see the new talent coming through already, and supporting projects that hopefully they’ll have the opportunities to be a part of.

Highlights of the night for me were seeing three very different performances from Katharine Moraz, Sam Lupton and Tamar Broadbent. Katharine is currently in the tour of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” having also most recently starred in the UK tour of Avenue Q, and I’ve been wanting to catch her at a gig for quite some time now! Firstly with a ukelele in hand, Katharine performed some of her own songs which were depicting some of the issues most important to her. The first being about pelican crossings. Immediately, I’m liking this girl’s humour! She then also sang a romcom song about the lollipop man, joking that it seemed she couldn’t write songs on the ukelele longer than a couple of minutes and not about roads and transportation in some way! After hilariously retrieving her pic from her bra, Katharine moved from ukelele to guitar to sing what she called a ‘proper song’ that I’m assuming is called “We Are Golden”, a gorgeous original song sung so sublimely! I’m definitely looking forward to any gigs Katharine is doing in the future, and I’d recommend anyone to go see her too!

In between Thomas introducing acts at one point of the evening, a moment of brilliant ‘improv’ happened as he was discussing Geordies and how many of them were in attendance. ‘Randomly’ one by one, three girls then stood up from within the audience to sing through a very Geordie song which the audience were then encouraged to join in with lyrics that were left on the table. This created a perfect link to the next performer…

Sam Lupton joined the stage, having quickly re-picked up his Northern accent with the Geordie atmosphere that had just been created, and was the biggest surprise act of the evening for me. I’m quite used to seeing Sam as ‘Boq’ in Wicked that he’s currently starring in, however he had previously mentioned that this act would be something different entirely, and that it was! This act came to life through an interest Sam had during his time spent doing A-Levels which included psychology, and has developed since then but isn’t so well known to many. Therefore I won’t go into too much detail about the act itself as there’s a chance Sam will be putting on a show of it sometime next year. I’ll just say that it included guests honestly chosen completely randomly, books brought in by the audience, so those Sam hadn’t seen (well, apart from hilariously Wicked “I think I know about this one…”), and some incredible skill in mind reading and psychological illusion. Safe to say it left everyone flabbergasted, it really was like watching a kind of magic.

Singer/songwriter Tamar Broadbent took to the stage and immediately injected more raw humour into the night, with her original song about falling in love and wanting to be with a guy called Patrick in her AmDram group at school. With piano and pure wit, she took us through her struggles with Patrick and how he only dated the girls who played the leads. As she went up through the roles and finally hit the lead in “Schools Will Rock You”, Patrick decided that he would then date the ensemble, making Tamar realise “Patrick is a dick!”. In the song she also embarrassed audience member Paul, changing one of the lines to “Maybe Pau-Patrick will love me!”, and also getting the audience to join in with the chorus at alternate points. Not only was her song clever and hilarious, she easily made the audience laugh and like her which is crucial with her style of music! Tamar is doing her own show, “Almost Epic”, at the Leicester Square Theatre on November 25th/26th which I’m hoping for her will be a massive success!

Emma who runs Pitgems also showcased the opening number from the show she’s hoping to put on next year, “Elegies”, with some of the talented young performers who had sang in the gig. It was put together really impressively, and everyone involved in this piece sounded fantastic, so I really hope they’re able to raise the funds to put it on. Overall, as I said before, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were glad we stayed to see the evening gig.

The Battersea Barge is often home to many gigs including comedy, musical theatre etc, so I’d recommend checking out their website to see what’s going on in the future!

On Twitter:
Katharine Moraz / Sam Lupton / Tamar Broadbent / Emma Trow – Pitgems
The Battersea Barge

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