Douglas Mayo reviews Blake Patrick Anderson’s Mulled Wine, a small intimate cabaret that was broadcast live from home as it became necessary for London to move into Tier 3 last week.
Blake Patrick Anderson – Mulled Wine
18 December 2020
Blake Patrick Anderson’s Mulled Wine streamed live on Friday night due to Tier 3 restrictions in London showed that the show must go on, and go on it did, with an appreciative audience of friends and fans seeming to have a moment away from the madness to enjoy a talent who is fast making a name for himself through his appearances in the musicals Lucky Stiff and Closer To Heaven. His two most recent appearances playing Michael in Be More Chill at The Other Palace and Mark in Jonathan Larsen’s Rent at The Hope Mill Theatre also fell foul of COVID-19.
It’s always an interesting experience to watch a performer sans his audience. You realise just how symbiotic audience and artist are in a performance setting. It’s like each nourishes the other. Watching Blake take on the challenges of a live stream certainly showed his considerable potential and raw talent.
A programme of traditional festive fayre intermingled with Elton John’s Your Song, REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight This Feeling, all showcasing a lyrical pop tenor voice that at time’s soared made way for songs that I was unfamiliar with which made for a refreshing change. Lost In The Woods (Frozen II), You’re A Mean One Mr Grinch (Dr Seuss/ Albert Hague) and David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner’s Grown-Up Christmas List rounding out the evening.
The standout highlight though which completely blew me away was Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene’s Mary Did You Know? From the flood comments from the online viewers, many obviously thought the same.
Taking away the audience can be bad enough but then throwing a stage performer who obviously has dedicated fans into the challenges of live streaming, saw Blake seem uncertain as he was flying blind without the reaction of the crowd. I have seen so many events like this where performers have agonised over link scripts trying to create that seemingly effortless but rehearsed for weeks and it’s all part of the experience trying new mediums like streaming. It can be daunting but master it and get your personality travelling through the wires to those at home and it’s another quiver to your bow.
I’m intrigued to see what comes next for Blake, I was a fan of Be More Chill, and in Mulled Wine (I didn’t indulge) he certainly showed himself to be an actor I’ll be watching out for.
Congratulations to a job well done on the tech side. If all these restrictions have shown us anything is how fast technology can be pushed to advance to what we need at the time. Live Streaming can be fraught but this festive at home had a great sound and a lovely HD feed made it a joy to watch!