The microblogging site Twitter has long been a useful promotional tool within the performing arts community with everybody from school children to Hollywood stars avidly detailing their daily lives in 140 characters or less. @westendproducer, a tweeter who has yet to reveal his or her identity, has garnered more than 18,300 followers and it is supposedly under this person’s auspices that the #searchforatwitterstar Live comes to the West End stage.
With 650 entrants the live competition consists of ten young men and women with dreams of musical theatre success. Host Aled Jones does a fabulous job of rousing the well-behaved audience into cheering for their favourite performer and the judges, including producer David King, musical director Mike Dixon, agent Gemma Lowy Hamilton and performer Louise Dearman comment from the safety of their boxes in the circle.
With six young hopefuls removed from the line-up by an audience vote after the first round, finalists Ben Vivian Jones, Kara Bayer, Alexandra De Silva and Felipe Bejerano are subject to a sing-off, the lively and lyrically appropriate Goodbye from Catch Me If You Can. Another vote gives us the winners - Kara Bayer for her charming rendition of Taylor, The Latte Boy; and Felipe Bejerano for the warmth and promise of his beautiful tenor vocals as he covered Jason Robert Brown’s Someone To Fall Back On.
Part of the prize is the opportunity to sing live with a West End star and both Kerry Ellis and Jon Lee turn up to provide this honour, putting the winners at ease and undoubtedly making their evenings.
With other performances from Patch Of Blue Theatre Company and some stunning soloists from Associated Studios, #searchforatwitterstar Live has the potential to become a major annual event in the West End.