I was able to catch Barnum at the Leeds Grand Theatre a couple of weeks ago. Written by Mark Bramble, Michael Stewart and Cy Coleman, the current tour stars Linzi Hateley as Chairy and Brian Conley as PT Barnum. The story follows PT Barnum as he shows ow he made his livelihood both within and outside the circus.
The current tour is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Michael Harrison and their vision has really brought the story alive. The whole audience was getting involved; laughing, gasping and crying along. Brian Conley undoubtedly carries the show and does a brilliant job of keeping it moving whilst showing off some rather unexpected circus skills (I have heard they don’t always go a smoothly as the night I saw it). The chorus were bright, bold and multi-talented and the choreography was fresh and well performed.
I found the songs pretty forgettable, none of them really stuck with me beyond that evening, but this is not why you go to see this show, you go for the overall spectacle, and that certainly delivered.
The tour continues to Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Plymouth, Southampton, Canterbury and Birmingham.
It is a great night out with high energy performances from everyone involved.