Andy Howells reviews Welsh stage and music star Lucie Jones concert with The Fulltone Orchestra at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall.
I was quite excited to attend Cardiff’s St David’s Hall on the eve of The King’s Coronation. I had originally hoped to catch Welsh stage star Lucie Jones at the venue nearly 18 months ago, until COVID prevented me from attending.
This homecoming show was Lucie’s fourth and final date on her debut tour with The Fulltone Orchestra and preceding her return as Fantine in the West End production of Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre.
Following the arrival of the impressive 50-piece Fulltone Orchestra under the direction of Anthony Brown, Lucie appeared in a silvery white dress, which on occasion absorbed the stage spotlight colours to give a golden effect. With all the pizzazz of magical stage presence, Lucie belted out All That Jazz from Cabaret and wowed the Cardiff audience from the offset.
Between songs, Lucie delivered both lovely and honest anecdotes about her stage career so far. From starting out as an 11-year-old performer auditioning for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at Cardiff’s YMCA, via her big break in Television’s X-Factor, representing the UK at the Ukraine in Eurovision and of course starring in Wicked, Waitress and Les Mis’ in London’s West End. Any nervousness Lucie admitted to having on her home-coming stage, (Lucie was a frequent visitor to the Hall growing up) certainly wasn’t evident in her professional presentation or performance.
Making the set-list were signature songs you’d hope Lucie would perform including I Dreamed a Dream, He Used to Be Mine and I’ll Never Give Up on You. As The Fulltone Orchestra lived up to their name with a dynamic accompanying sound, there were further phenomenal moments as fellow West-End stars David Hunter and Helen Woolf joined Lucie on stage. David and Lucie duetted on both You Matter to Me from Waitress and later, a fun version of Anything You Can Do. There was also a duet from Helen and Lucie performing A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.
Surprises included The Fulltone Orchestra’s rendition of The James Bond Theme, followed by Lucie’s rendition of Skyfall (Miss Jones for the next Bond theme please?) a jazzed-up version of Ding Dong the Wicked Witch is Dead (from Wizard of Oz), Joni Mitchell’s From Both Sides Now, plus my personal favourites Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (from Phantom of The Opera) and a stunning Capella performance of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile.
With such a varied programme, Lucie’s concert with the Fulltone orchestra frequently delivered well-deserved standing ovations. The audience, showed their appreciation by holding up signs proclaiming We Will Always Love You Lucie as she sang I Will Always Love You.
The magical evening of music was completed with a bouquet presentation from Lucie’s niece, before the busy star headed back to London to perform in two performances of Les Mis’ the following day.
One couldn’t help but feel a warm affection for Lucie Jones on stage, an affection that was equally reciprocated back to her audience. Long may our Welsh star continue to shine!