Review Date September 15, 2015
Review By Johnny Tiat
Location Leicester Square Theatre
I have never been a fan of country music, although there are the odd one or two tunes that appeal to me, so when I was invited to ‘The Country Superstars Experience’ At The Leicester Square Theatre in the heart of London’s West End, I was apprehensive. Would I enjoy the show? The answer to that question, is a big fat YES. The amazing writing/directing and performance of Sarah Jayne Crust and Andy Crust gave myself and every other person that packed the auditorium a most enjoyable evening. The show was opened by none other than Dolly Parton herself (If I did not know otherwise I would have thought it was Dolly). Dolly immediately had the audience warming to her and we were putty in her hands, then she introduced the legend himself Johnny Cash the audience whooped with joy as he played with such precision and expertise some of Cash’s well known classics including Folsom Prison Blues and Walk The Line. The first half was like a whirlwind, as Billie Jo Spears, John Denver, and Tammy Wynette took to the stage and entertained us faultlessly. When Andy came on as Garth Brooks, I felt his performance was breath taking and to close the first half he was joined on stage by Dolly who joined in with Friends In Low Places. During the interval I headed for the bar and wanted to speak with as many people as I possibly could. Among the comments made when I asked the question ‘What do you think of the show?’ were ‘absolutely loving it, they look and sound like every one of the characters.’ When I asked a man whom by the way he was dressed looked like a fan of country music. ‘Are you enjoying the show?’ He replied ‘What do you think? This is Country music at its best.’ I was thinking. How are they going to follow that? The second half was opened by Dolly, the perfect host. (I am going to resist the temptation of describing her as the hostess with the mostest). It is no wonder that I.T.V and S.T.V described Sarah as ‘The world’s foremost Dolly Parton Tribute act.’ Throughout the show we were given the background of the artists and the meaning behind some of the songs. With the second half introducing Willie Nelson and Patsy cline, closing with Kenny Rogers being joined on stage by Dolly receiving a well-deserved standing ovation. I looked on Kenny Rogers website this morning and he says: ‘Andy Crust and Sarah Jayne are Europe’s leading Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers tribute act.’ I would recommend this west end hit to anyone, whether you are a fan of country music or not.