Putting a musical theatre spin on pop and rock classics, Oops…I Streamed it Again blends two worlds, creating an online concert of familiar favourites and songs yet to be discovered.
Featuring the original cast members of &Juliet, we start with a cool, breezy interpretation of Britney, followed by Tim Mahendran taking to the dance floor with Calum Scott’s blockbuster hit Dancing on my Own. Playing the role of Francois in &Juliet, Mahendran easily latches onto the melancholic thread running throughout the song, nailing its depiction of mixed signals and unrequited love.
The concert also introduces more standard elements of musical theatre, with Jordan Luke Gage and Grace Mouat singing Hadestown’s All I’ve Ever Known. Duets become a recurring theme in this concert, with Oliver Tompsett and Cassidy Janson reprising their roles from Wicked. Performing As Long as You’re Mine, the chemistry that kicks in with the two leads proves that in theatre, a good pairing can have many lives.
A double act can also veer from the traditional, with Tompsett and Mahendran getting their bromance on with the REO Speedwagon classic, Can’t Fight this Feeling. As Tompsett and Mahendran dial up the flirt, great comic turns are matched with big, rock vocals. So near, and yet so far apart: there is definitely an argument for the socially-distanced duet to become a whole new genre.
The tone of the concert moves swiftly: Grace Mouat chooses a song from Disney’s Anastasia (also adapted into a musical). Journey to the Past is a bold and challenging song that asks a lot of its performer. Mouat – clearly loving the opportunity – absolutely sells it, all the way to the back row. Cassidy Janson (fresh from her win at the Olivier Awards for her role as Anne Hathaway) also seeks inspiration from her childhood. The 90’s hit, Get Here by Oleta Adams, is delivered cleanly and simply by Janson. It’s a lovely nostalgic moment that sits comfortably between the larger moments of the show.
With a nod to the show that brought them all together, the cast finish with Kissing You – taken from Baz Luhrmann’s film Romeo + Juliet. All five performers clearly connecting to the song and to each other, it’s a poignant reminder that this is the first time they have sung together since March.
At 40 minutes long, fans will be thirsty for more (can you ever have too much Britney?) but Oops…I Streamed it Again effectively whets the appetite for things to come. As 2021 approaches, theatres across the UK are announcing new shows, returning shows. This concert, full of optimism, encourages us to look ahead – after all, theatre’s resilience to change is well proven. In the 21st century, adapting has meant using technology to keep performers in touch with their audience: the popularity of these events has shown that the need to watch shows, to listen to great songs, has been an emotional lifeline for many.
But further to that, the concerts are introducing musical theatre to viewers who may not have even considered themselves ‘theatre people’ before. By making content so accessible, theatre is securing its own future, both immediate and long-term. A future with packed houses and glowing reviews: it’s getting that little bit closer.