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Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Alfie Boe serves up sizzling show to kick off Eisteddfod

* Alfie Boe delivers a memorable Eisteddfod performance.

* Welsh of the West End shared the show.

* Joined on stage by Shea Ferron.

Alfie Boe stormed back to Llangollen in style when he delivered up a storming, sizzling two and a half hours of pure musical magic to a packed Pavilion audience last night (Tuesday).

In his advance publicity he promised fans would be treated to a “fantastic bloody show” to kick off the 2023 Eisteddfod.

And he certainly kept to his word and more as he pierced those famous canvas walls with a million marvellous lyrics from a cavalcade of songs.

Helping him to enthral and beguile us until around 11pm was a sixsome of pure home-grown talent in the form of Welsh of the West End, the musical theatre super-group and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists, and a young local lad named Shea whose dream of sharing the stage with his hero he made come beautifully true.

On first came the Welsh group to present some belters such as Seasons of Love from the musical Rent, That’s All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera and, in a Welsh medley, Calon Lan and even Green Green Grass of Home from Saint Tom Jones.

Then it was time for Boe to bounce back onto the big flower-bedecked stage with a completely accurate advert for the ensuing performance entitled The Greatest Show.

That was just the opening salvo in a broadside of hits from the West End and beyond which he lavished upon us backed by a stylish five-piece band and a couple of brilliant backing singers.

Falling Slowly from Once he delivered with the help of one of these impressive  singers named Emily who he jokingly instructed not to “mess it up” before they started. A little sample of why the Llan audience just loves down-to-earth Boe, an affair which began a couple of years back on his first appearance here.

There were a couple of his own songs, the plaintive White Lily Fields and Stormy Waters, before he unleashed a mighty, throbbing version of Proud Mary from the lamentably late Tina Turner and Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.

It was during Bring Him Home that he beckoned up on stage Llangollen’s own Mr Showbiz Shea Ferron, who though still in his early twenties has become something of a megastar through his singing performances locally and regionally as a soloist and even nationally as part of the Johns’ Boys choir.

I reckon those few shared bars made Shea’s day if not his life up to this point.

It then became something of a delicious blur as Boe hammered home more and more gems like Do You Hear the People Sing and One Day More, again from Les Mis.

We were transported deeper into West End world as the second half dawned with material including He Lives in You from Lion King II and Let it Go from Frozen.

But of course he wouldn’t let it go yet and as it went dark outside he continued to light up the place for ages longer with a Queen medley featuring a rocking Radio Gaga and We Are the Champions, which touched off a kind of madness in the dancing, arm-waving and chanting-along crowd.

Grease is the Word was the prelude to a collection of more hits from Tommy (Pinball Wizard) and the Jersey Boys during which he sang You’re Too Good to Be True.

And for all of us who were privileged to see this show, it was.

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