Review: Stormy: The Life of Lena Horne at Norwich Playhouse

Credit as catchline

Credit as catchline - Credit: Archant

Way back in the sixties, when I was barely out of short trousers, I had the great fortune, aided by the wisdom of a long-gone jazz friend, to go and see Lena Horne at Ronnie Scott's.

She was on one of her stunning tours. It was a glorious exciting evening, burned into my teenaged memory, with her pushing singing to the very edge of possibility. When, some years later, she was summoned to meet her maker, I thought that was the end.

Move on via fast-forward to May 2017 and this reviewer is now with friends at the Norwich Playhouse watching Stormy: The Life of Lena Horne and, crumbs, the long passed-on diva is there on the stage once more, vibrant dramatic, exciting and alive!

That was the startling and wonderful skill of Camilla Beeput, who recreated Lena in what would now be her centenary year. Camilla's magical voice, supported by the supreme skill of her superb, tight yet sensitive five piece band, created an atmosphere that again brought tears to my eyes. This truly was a wonderful evocation of one of the greatest jazz singing stars we have ever seen.

If you ever get a chance to see Camilla Beeput, do not miss it, for she offers a supreme reminder of one of the finest jazz singers you will ever hear; she also adds truly dramatic style to her supreme stage presence. This magnificent performer made this a glorious and memorable evening.


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Roger Haywood

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