The Other Palace, London
Guest reviewer: Emma Gradwell
We were treated to a classy and sleek evening from London classical crossover girl group IDA. Performing as part of The Big Smoke Festival (The Other Palace’s week-long music, cabaret and variety festival) Wendy Carr, Laura Coutts, Georgi Mottram and Sarah Vaughan make up the quartet. Having trained at some of the world’s leading conservatoires they have been singing together since 2016 when they met during a West End production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida – hence the name.
We were taken on a journey from Bizet to Adele with clever mashups fusing traditional opera with both pop and musical theatre. The result is truly beautiful. The four ladies may hail from worlds apart – Scotland, Jersey, Ireland and Australia – but their chemistry is undeniable. All of the arrangements are self-written, making this combination genre completely their own.
After the opening verse of The Phantom of the Opera, a booming bass-baritone voice could be heard from the back of the room. Rodney Earl-Clarke appeared from the darkness to duet with the girls with superb effect.
Also accompanying was Steinway pianist Dominic Ferris – one half of the critically acclaimed double act Ferris and Milne. There was a special performance of his own at the midway point, allowing for a quick costume change. Ferris is a very expressive pianist and an absolute joy to hear and watch.
The show was exquisite from start to finish. The IDA Girls are talented, beautiful and funny. I would highly recommend an evening in their company and cannot wait to see what comes next from them.