If you’d looked closely at the small print you’d have seen that someone had bestowed the subtitle A Christmas Caroline on this show and it’s not easy to dispute given that nine of the 20 numbers that comprised the two sets either boasted the word Christmas and/or Santa in the title or were seasonal songs (Let It Snow, Sleigh Ride) now so strongly associated with Christmas that they are no longer heard independently.
In the event it was a well-balanced crowd-pleaser of an evening. The seasonal fare included a fine slow reading of Winter Wonderland that included the rarely heard verse and a slightly brisker warbling of Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. The pick of the non-seasonal material was Cole Porter’s seldom-done I’ve Still Got My Health with It Had To Be You, again including the verse, a close second.
Ms. Deverill has a decent enough set of pipes at their best in the middle register and is not frightened to banter with the audience between numbers. Chris Hatt provided keyboard backing for Ms Deverill and two guests were given featured spots in both sets.
The two guests, Sara Poyser and Tasha O’Brien, joined with Caroline in a rousing Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree to close the first set and then returned in the second set to join her in an ABBA medley which went down very well with the SRO audience. They also scored with individual spots like Harold Arlen’s When The Sun Comes Up.
Reviewers don’t always get the best of it, often leaving a warm fireside to brave the cold and the rain only to find mediocrity waiting for them then back out to face a miserable journey home. But an evening like this one is worth leaving home for.
Caroline Deverill and Chris Hatt At The Pheasantry, King’s Road, Chelsea, London