Review: ★★★★★ The Greatest Love Of All, London Palladium

Review: ★★★★★ The Greatest Love Of All, London Palladium

The diva, the icon, the legend. Belinda Davids brings to life the music of Whitney Houston in an incredible International Tour.

The Greatest Love of All is a tribute concert in memory of the life and music of Whitney Houston. Belinda Davids is a worthy lead; it has been commented by many that Belinda’s voice is uncannily similar to Whitney’s, and rightly so- her vocals paired with her luscious curls and recreations of iconic Houston outfits makes it feel like the pop diva really is in the room. Davids charm and charisma shines throughout the show, talking to the audience, sharing her personal connection to the music and even coming down into the auditorium to sing as she greets people in the aisles.

The show takes the audience on a journey through Houston’s music contrasting the high energy numbers such as ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and ‘Queen of the Night’ with powerful ballads such as ‘I Have Nothing’, ‘Greatest Love of All’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’. Other numbers include ‘So Emotional’, ‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All’, ‘How Will I Know’, ‘It’s Not Right But It’s Okay’ and ‘I’m Every Woman’.

The show succeeds where many tribute shows fail- director Johnny Van Grinsven knows how to edit. With so many tribute shows, songs are added to pad out the evening even though they don’t add anything to the show. As an audience member, it is far more enjoyable to have a constant stream of classic songs that you know and love, rather than separating the good ones up for the sake of making the show longer. 

Davids is supported by Giselle Bouwer on backing vocals, four dancers, a fantastic band and the National Philharmonic Orchestra who bring the music alive in a new and exciting way. There is a level of respect between Belinda and her musical support, with her taking time to introduce each of them by name, adding to her charismatic charm. While the band, backing vocals and orchestra manage to gorgeously come together to work alongside Belinda, the dancers feel misplaced. While undeniably talented, often their energetic dance routines distract from the emotional, heart-wrenching numbers that Davids is performing. While they benefited some of the numbers, the production team’s “well they are here so we might as well use them” attitude was to the detriment of the show as a whole.

Despite this, the show brings light and happiness into the whole audience in a truly uplifting and joyous experience. Every audience member will dance their way out of the doors at the end feeling much better than they did on the way in.

 

Eddie Tansley

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