Spring and other things

Michael Darvell on Lorna Dallas

Although she has now finished her short season at Jermyn Street Theatre, I couldn't let Lorna Dallas go without reminding our readers what a good performer she is, and bemoan the fact that we really do not see enough of this superb singer in the West End. Her Spring Collection was such a brilliant piece of programming, a very pleasing mixture of the familiar and the rarely-performed that provided a textbook example of what cabaret is all about. The theme was spring and it seems that more songsmiths have written about that particular season than any other time of year. Summer is probably next on the list, and of course autumn has a few entries, but winter? - that's surely a no-no for a good song. But back to spring and, apart from the obvious ('Younger Than Springtime,' 'Spring, Spring, Spring,' 'April in Paris' etc.), there wasn't much that was too familiar, and it's good to hear such comparative rarities as 'Suddenly It's Spring,' from Lady In The Dark, 'Spring is a New Beginning' from The Yearling, and 'You Must Believe in Spring' from The Young Girls of Rochefort.

Lorna Dallas has such a warm, melodious voice that to be in her company is like being bathed in hot chocolate. I am not the first person to compare her with the likes of Barbara Cook, for she possesses a similar vocal quality of emotional depth that comes out in every song she interprets. And, singing some of Miss Cook's songs ('The Springtime Cometh' from Flahooley and 'Buds Won't Bud' from Hooray for What?) reiterates this quality. I do hope she will be repeating this excellent programme at other at other venues as well as perhaps committing it to record, for it really is one of the finest cabaret compilations in living memory.

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