4/5 Stars

★★★★ London Musical Theatre Orchestra: An Exciting Start to a Unique Idea

Amy and Tom Milne review State Fair at Cadogan Hall

lmto-1Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair was a delightful choice for London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s debut concert.

To a packed house at the prestigious Cadogan Hall, this candy floss musical was given some serious credentials. An unknown score with famous origins was played by the world’s only orchestra dedicated to playing musical theatre.

The London Musical Theatre Orchestra was started as a simple Facebook post by Principal Conductor Freddie Tapner in June 2015 and stems from an obvious passion for musical theatre.

This new professional orchestra is made up of the very best performers in London, paired with players for whom this is one of their first professional engagements.

lmto-2Their beautiful and sometimes awe inspiring performance laid before us a simple and sweet story from 1940s America, which sees the innocent divergences of a sunny family at their local State Fair. What really transports State Fair from this enjoyable orchestral concert into a West End musical experience though was the line-up of incredible vocalists.

Without the mirage of sets and costumes, these stars stood in black tie get-up, holding their scripts informally and captured the audience’s imagination. Particular mention of the whole cast’s rendition of ‘All I Owe Ioway’ and its knee slapping fun must be made – we were left with goosebumps and big grins.

The London Musical Theatre Orchestra has created a unique experience for pure music lovers that is still accessible and impactful. With Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ next on the agenda at the Lyceum Theatre on Monday 19 December, this an exciting start to a new idea.

Check the The London Musical Theatre Orchestra website to see what they will be performing next: http://www.lmto.org

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