Heart and Soul: A one-night only celebration of Motown, RNB and Soul Celebration featuring The Novello Orchestra conducted by David Mahoney comes to Wales Millennium Centre’s Donald Gordon Theatre on March 3, 2020.
The presentation features a host Broadway and West End performers including Trevor Dion Nicholas (the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin), Marisha Wallace (star of Dreamgirls and Waitress the Musical), Shanay Holmes (Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar) and Dom Hartley-Harris (Tiger Bay the Musical, Hamilton). The stars of theatre are set to get into the groove with hits made famous by the legends of R&B, Soul and Motown, including Al Green, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Tina Turner, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Legend and many more.
Andy Howells puts questions to David Mahoney about Heart and Soul: A Motown, RNB and Soul Celebration
Heart and Soul will be the third one-off special concert you have done with the Novello Orchestra over the past year. What have the shows been like to work on?
It’s been such a joy to put this series of shows together in my favourite theatre. We’re so lucky to have a venue like the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, and it will always be The Novello Orchestra’s spiritual home.
The audiences are second to none and it’s such a magic place. Ideal for the celebratory musical experience that a Novello Orchestra show offers!
Its noted at previous shows that both yourself and the Novello orchestra really get into the joy and atmosphere of performing the music – how do you get them inspired?
The Novello Orchestra are made up of some of the finest musicians in the country. They really are at the top of their game. But it’s always a real pleasure for the orchestra to share the stage with some of the leading singers from the West End and Broadway, and to get such an enthusiastic response from a friendly Welsh audience.
The party spirit really is in full flow at any Novello Orchestra show, and I tend to encourage the audience to get up, sing and dance along! I’ve also been known to bust out a few dance moves from the conductor’s podium!
The forthcoming presentation will shine a spotlight on the music of Motown, can you tell us about it?
I’m so excited to bring our Motown, RnB and Soul celebration to the stage of the Wales Millennium Centre for the very first time. These are such iconic songs but will be experienced as you’ve never heard them before with the might of The Novello Orchestra accompanying some of the most exciting singers of the West and Broadway!
You’ll be joined on stage by some notable performers from the world of music and theatre too, can you tell us about those?
It’s a really thrilling line-up of guest singers. They have tread the boards of leading shows in the West End and Broadway.
Marisha Wallace joins us fresh from her roles in Waitress the Musical and her triumphant performance in Dreamgirls on the West End. She’s quickly becoming one of the shining lights in musical theatre and will soon be starring in the West End’s new production of Hairspray later this year.
Trevor Dion Nicholas has played the role of the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway and in the West End, and he’s currently starring in the recent musical phenomenon that is Hamilton, as well as recently appearing as a guest judge on ITV’s ‘All Star Musicals. He’s such a vibrant performer that the audience are going to love!
I’m also really excited to have two vocal powerhouses join us, in the form of Shanay Holmes (a star of RENT and Jesus Christ Superstar) and Dom Hartley-Harris, who returns to the WMC stage having played the lead role in the Centre’s production of Tiger Bay the Musical.
Motown produced a huge back catalogue of songs; how do you select the ones you want to perform?
It was a lot of fun putting the song list together for this show. In reality, there’s so much amazing repertoire out there that we could have done about ten different shows! But I’ve chosen a set list that has a bit of everything in!
What do you hope the audience will take away from Heart and Soul?
I’m confident that audiences will be walk away from the show having had the night of their lives, singing these incredible hit-tunes and with a strut to their stride!
We’re going to have a real party atmosphere! A feel-good night that everyone will enjoy!!
Finally, what’s your own personal Motown favourite?
It’ s too difficult to choose! I love them all! But if you come along to the Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday 3rd March, I may let you know during the show!
For tickets visit http://www.wmc.org.uk