Tonight's review: Carols by Candlelight - The Mayflower Theatre

Daily Echo: Tonight's review: Carols by Candlelight - The Mayflower Theatre Tonight's review: Carols by Candlelight - The Mayflower Theatre

Carols by Candlelight - The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton BRIAN Conley and the rest of the Mayflower’s Christmas panto cast were given the night off on Friday to make way for a glorious evening of Christmas music and song.

The Mozart Festival Orchestra were in full 18th century costume, complete with stockings and powdered wigs, setting the scene for an evening which featured seasonal music from Handel, Mozart, Bach, Cullen and Darke.

The evening’s entertainment also included carols sung beautifully by the Mozart Festival Choir and perhaps a little less beautifully by the audience when we were invited to join in.

The pace of the evening was varied, moving from slower paced orchestral pieces to sing-alongs such as Jingle Bells.

The quality was exceptional, particularly soprano Rachel Nicholls, whose voice was simply stunning.

But for me, the star of the evening was conductor Steven Devine, who was great fun, acting as compere as well as leading the choir, orchestra and audience, even doing so while joining in on the harpsichord, and giving the evening a fun, light-hearted and inclusive feel.

His energy and enthusiasm were infectious, and even if, as he joked, his first invitation to join in the singing was met with a rather lacklustre response, soon everyone was joining in and seeming to have a great time doing so.

One of the highlights was The Twelve Days of Christmas, which the audience was invited to join in with, and which was such fun it put a smile on everyone’s faces.

A wonderful seasonal treat for all.

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