There's something very comforting – and Christmassy – about concerts with programmes of songs from musicals, though with many of them it's a bit like opening a Christmas cracker: you never quite know what to expect.
So many of these similarly titled shows have passed through the Concert Hall in recent years that it's difficult to keep track of which particular franchise you're going to hear. Sunday night's A West End Christmas linked back to previous concerts which had also featured the ever-excellent singer Jacqui Scott, smooth-talking conductor and master of ceremonies Martin Yates, and the dynamic Scottish Festival Orchestra.
This year's quartet of solo singers was accompanied, on some numbers, by the City of Glasgow Chorus. The addition of a choir on such already powerful ballads as The Lion King's He Lives in You and One More Day, from Les Miserables, gave these songs an almost spine-tingling quality and helped to make the clever and catchy opener The Rhythm of Life, from Sweet Charity, especially memorable.
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The two female singers – the aforementioned Scott and Leila Benn Harris – had a monopoly on the stand-out performances of the evening, with Scott dazzling the audience with her high-speed rendition of the tongue-twister lyrics on Stephen Sondheim's cynical Getting Married Today, from Company, and her exhaustingly energetic Defying Gravity, from Wicked. Harris, meanwhile, topped her sublime I Could Have Danced All Night, from My Fair Lady, with a very moving interpretation of The Phantom of the Opera ballad, Wishing.