MICHAEL Courtney and Bradford musical star Gareth Gates are headlining the tenth anniversary production of Mad About The Musicals, bringing the glitz and glamour of Broadway and the West End to audiences all over the country this autumn.

At York Barbican last Friday, Courtney was completely at ease on stage and a natural back-and-forth-with his co-stars and the audience. While some of his jokes were a little corny at times, it all contributed to the general atmosphere of family-friendly fun between the show tunes. The actual musical performances, however, were absolutely fantastic.

From Miss Saigon and A Star Is Born to The Phantom Of The Opera and Les Miserables, there wasn’t a single song that failed to hit its mark, with all the performers putting everything into their parts. However, it wasn’t all emotional tearjerkers and love songs. The cast also managed to work in an extended ensemble Queen medley, which was a brilliant way to finish off the first half, as well as many light-hearted numbers that helped keep things fresh throughout.

Gates also enjoyed a very strong performance; since his 2002 debut on Pop Idol, his stage presence and singing skills have only developed further and he was extremely entertaining to watch.

All in all, Mad About The Musicals is exactly what it says it is; a huge mash-up of classic musical numbers and beloved songs performed with skill and genuine sincere affection.