REVIEW: An Evening with Sam Wearing at the Arts Centre

Last night (Saturday, 3 September), 22-year-old Sam Wearing finally got his own show at Swindon Arts Centre.

Sam Wearing at the Swindon Arts Centre. © Matt Holmes
Sam Wearing at the Swindon Arts Centre. © Matt Holmes

When Sam first announced this show, it was originally to raise funds to help toward finances at Laine Performing Arts School, however, he was recently offered a full scholarship to the school and continued the show anyway.

The night included a wide range of songs such as show tunes and other well-loved songs, as well as a little about him, his life, and how he got to where he is today.

In a sophisticated grey suit, Sam took to the stage to open the show with ‘Something About This Night’, accompanied by pianist Ben Kennedy, who has credits in iconic musicals such as ‘Wicked’ and ‘CATS’ on the West End, ‘Footloose’ on their UK tour, ‘We Will Rock You’, and ‘Hairspray’.

Despite the fire alarm, Sam was “continually singing (loud)”, and filled the room with his powerful voice, even if it did feature in a complaint letter from his neighbours.

Sam and Alice Ellen Wright performing As Long As You're Mine. © Matt Holmes
Sam and Alice Ellen Wright performing As Long As You’re Mine. © Matt Holmes

A long-time friend and guest singer, Alice Ellen Wright, joined Sam in the pink lights to perform a rendition of ‘As Long as You’re Mine’ and took themselves back in time to when they were in school singing show tunes together.

This was then followed by a solo performance by Alice, who performed ‘Astonishing’. Some may recognise her as the girl who stole the microphone from Idina Menzel at her own concert.

Even pianist, Ben Kennedy was in awe as Sam continued with a Disney themed medley of Tarzan’s You’ll Be in My Heart, Hercules’ Zero to Hero, The Little Mermaid’s Part of Your World, Beauty and the Beast’s Tale As Old As Time, and Frozen’s Let it Go.

An Evening With Sam Wearing. © Matt Holmes
An Evening With Sam Wearing. © Matt Holmes

Throughout the show, Sam shared his most intimate and inspiring thoughts, including auditions he has been rejected from and when he got the scholarship for Laine. This made way for ‘Don’t Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be’, which wowed the whole audience with his speed and ability.

Before the interval, even the audience of a local audience got involved with a Whitney Houston and Bodyguard medley; on their feet, singing, dancing and clapping along.

Sam Wearing at lights down. © Matt Holmes
Sam Wearing at lights up. © Matt Holmes

During act two, Sam shared with the audience the memories of his leg injury which resulted in being kicked out of a performing arts course in London. As he was having surgery, Sam shared that he was unable to complete the dance section of the course, which became much lighter news as he burst into ‘when your legs don’t work when they used to before…’ (Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran).

His most moving story was of his mum passing away, where he dedicated some songs to her with a slideshow of photos of the pair came up on the backdrop. This had the whole audience in tears and proud of Sam that he has come this far. Surprisingly, Sam kept his nerve throughout the two songs, his voice not wavering one bit despite the tears and sniffles from the audience in front of him.

Sam dedicating 'Don't Cry Out Loud' and 'Dear Mum' to his mother. © Matt Holmes
Sam dedicating ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ and ‘Dear Mum’ to his mother. © Matt Holmes

The audience clearly loved An Evening with Sam Wearing, as they were all back on their feet after the final song,clapping and cheering and so proud of the Sam they know and love. Of course, someone shouted ‘encore’ which, despite the show already having finished late, allowed them to join in again with ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, with their cheering even louder than before.

 

The audience on their feet after an amazing show by Sam Wearing. © Polly Tyler
The audience on their feet after an amazing show by Sam Wearing. © Polly Tyler

He told Swindon 24: “This is my way of saying thank you for the support and belief that local people have had in me over the past few years.”

The show was a huge success and a joy to watch, well done Sam.