Review: When the Curtain Falls (Album & Concert) by Carrie Hope Fletcher

It won't come to a shock to any of my readers that when Carrie Hope Fletcher announced that she was releasing an album, I was absolutely thrilled. Carrie has long been one of my favorite performers and I've always hoped that an album would make an appearance one day. "When The Curtain Falls" is certainly worth the wait as it's a lovely mix of musical theatre songs and Disney ballads. 

The album is certain to please Carrie's fans, but isn't exactly what you'd expect from her. While a Les Mis song does feature, it's "I Dreamed a Dream" and there's no Addams Family or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in sight. I've heard her sing "Burn" and "Let It Go" before and am excited to have professional recordings of them but her "Just Keep Moving the Line" blew me away. 

I was also delighted to hear "No One Else" from one of my favorite musicals Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 as it shows off Carrie's higher range which we don't often get to hear. And she recorded a gorgeous version of one of my favorite Disney solos "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" which is too often overlooked. 

I even learned some new songs thanks to Carrie's album as I'd never heard "Times Are Hard for Dreams" from Amélie or "What It Means to Be A Friend" from 13 The Musical before. I loved the jazzy rendition of "Journey to the Past" and "Summertime" is both lovely and very touching thanks to the backstory of it being the first song she learned -- and the fact that her dad plays guitar on the track. 

Overall, it's a beautiful debut album which showcases Carrie's vocal talents and I think her storytelling as well through her song choices. If the songs on this album are anything to go by, Carrie has seen some hard times but is determined and ready to make a great future for herself. At only forty-five minutes long, I find myself wanting more! (But that's the curse of someone who's used to listening to cast albums.) 

I did the pre-order of the album and while it only got to me on Monday of this week thanks to delays probably due to the Bank Holiday weekend, it was definitely worth it. There's some lovely photos and writing from Carrie and it's signed -- not just on the front cover, but on the CD inside as well which is a lovely touch. Plus there's a little bonus extra on the end of the album. I don't want to spoil it, but let me say that I was so shocked and happy I yelled, "NO WAY" when I first heard it.  

I was so excited to happen to be living in London when Carrie did her first series of debut concerts. I attended the Saturday night show at Cadogan Hall (one of my favorite venues in the whole city) for what was truly a magical night. Although, I will admit that I cried a bit while Carrie sang "Let's Go Fly a Kite" because I so wished I could have my little sister and parents with me to experience it.

The concert was wonderfully produced by Club 11 and I was also impressed with the array of merchandise they had onsale in the lobby. I of course picked up a (signed!) programme and a (signed!) poster. Truly, I feel for Carrie for how many things she had to sign for the event.

It also must be said that Alex Parker is an absolute joy to watch play piano. I was seated in the third row on the side of the stalls closest to him and I kept getting a little distracted by how into the music he was. There's nothing like seeing someone who clearly loves what they're doing.

At the concert, Carrie performed a mix of some of the tracks from the album and some that didn't make it on. Since the first time I saw her as Eponine, I said that Carrie would make a great Elphaba so it was amazing to have my belief confirmed by hearing her sing "The Wizard and I." I also loved her Disney medley and especially when she sang "A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" which is actually my favorite Disney Parks song that not enough people appreciate.

I cried again hearing Carrie sing "On My Own." I saw her in the role of Eponine three times and I think I got emotional because I didn't think I'd ever get to hear her sing that song again; in actual honesty, I've never heard another Eponine come closer to her performance. Perhaps it was also just knowing what that song and Carrie's performance of the character meant to me in my late teen years that made me so weepy.

Carrie was joined by two of her former leading men, Rob Houchen and Oliver Ormson, as special guests for the concerts. (Her brother Tom Fletcher was also at Sunday's concert as a guest, but I sadly missed that.) I was lucky enough to see both Oliver and Rob in their roles opposite Carrie so I couldn't have been more thrilled. She and Rob did a stunning performance of "Seventeen" from Heathers and she and Oliver sang "Only Us" from Dear Evan Hansen. If we could get a production of Heathers with Carrie as Veronica ASAP, that would be great.

I highly recommend the album if you're a fan of Carrie's, or just a fan of lovely musical theatre and Disney covers, as it's really quite special. And definitely keep an eye out in case Carrie decides to do more concerts; she may have been nervous (as she said on her YouTube channel) but she certainly knows how to put on a great show. x
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