Louise Dearman & Rachel Tucker’s “Christmas Cracker” – 15th Dec 2020 @ The Crazy Coqs, Zedel.
Disclaimer – all images used are by the incredible Danny Kaan.
So for about 9 years now, we’ve been praying for Louise & Rachel to do a concert together. There’s been a couple of gigs they have both been guests at, but always with other performers and those sorts of gigs are usually where people just get introduced, walk on, smash their song & walk back off, without the chance to engage the audience as themselves & let their personality shine. That is what we’ve been banging on about, every time we said they need to do a gig together because we (I keep saying we, meaning, myself and all the other long time Tuckman fans who’ve been wanting this), because we knew that the only thing that could happen when they finally reunited as a duo would be a magical convergence of their unique personalities & talents.
Cut to 2020, a global pandemic hits, with all its tragedy, challenges and harrowing effect on the arts #SaveTheArts. Finally Louise & Rachel decide to make our dreams come true & reunite, I don’t know who contacted who, or made them finally sync their diaries but THANK YOU, you little angel. Earlier this year we got West End Musical Drive In… The pre show Instagram stories alone, showed any fan, old or new, how amazing they’d be as the dream team together again, let alone the actual gig. They smashed out all the songs you’d expect & want from them and a few more you’d never have expected just for good measure, albeit with car horns honking, in a damp car park, with that bitter cold nipping at our noses. It was immense but unfortunately for them, only left us all wanting more, and a chance for them to really be them, in true Tuckman fashion banter & all, because as epic as the drive in was, it wasn’t the place for the kind of antics we knew we’d be in for in a Tuckman only gig, where they could be their own hosts.
Lucky for us, they seem to have caught the Tuckman bug again & decided to throw us a Christmas Cracker at the Crazy Coqs. Heck Yea!!!!! Obviously in the times we are in, it is a small venue. The audience number was slashed due to social distancing. So weather I felt ready to actually go on public transport, in an actual venue, or if the show would even get to go ahead with Tier’s & Lockdowns, being threatened and enforced or not, I threw caution to the wind & figured i’d work it out when it actually came to it. Then came the 15th Dec…. the actual day, and the last day for London in Tier 2 before Christmas. Lou & Rachel’s Christmas Cracker managed to sneak in just on the last night. Geez so lucky & I managed to get my anxious ass out the door and into an Uber, as couldn’t face public transport.
Now for the show… normally i’d go through song by song and give my flailing impressions but, there is a stream heading our way next week (Go book now on Zedel’s website, if you haven’t already) & I don’t want to spoil it for people but… From the moment Guy gave them their “5 minute call,” I could tell we were finally getting that sprinkle of Tuckman dust that we’ve been craving. Where they could let their hair down & give us their own unique blend of pizazz, class, repartee & all.
Part of their draw is their complete willingness to never take themselves to seriously all whilst still managing to maintain the highest level of quality & elegance. Singularly they both shine in their own rights. Their talents know no bounds and they have distinct qualities & ways of delivering material, but when they band together they each bring something else out of each other that you just don’t glimpse solo, and it is a sight to see & behold that will never leave you.
They bounce off of each other & you can see the joy it brings them to share a stage just seeping out of them, and it is overwhelmingly compelling, drawing their audience in to their joy & filling them with it too. I can not say how much this kind of pure joy was needed in these times. There’s just something special about Tuckman.
They started with a sketch that set the tone for the evening, letting you know they were here and ready to ham it up if and when needed. There were props, and simple yet effective stage pieces, as well as a couple of costume changes throughout the hour. We were treated to duets, solos and a hilarious/brilliant sketch/mashup that will make the heart of any Wicked fan leap, all based around the festive theme of the evening. We even had a reworked classic that was flawlessly adapted to suit Tuckman & the night. The audience were given individually wrapped and sanitised Jingle Bells to help with atmosphere & Louise and Rachel brought the Christmas Cheer with every note they sang.
I can not articulate how happy it made me not just to be in a venue again, seeing live performances but for it to be Louise & Rachel together again, helping us get in the Christmas spirit. In a year where it’s been a chore to find positives and not be dragged down by the weight of everything going on around us. They lifted my heart higher than it’s been all year & took us on a beautiful journey. That’s the beauty of theatre & the arts though isn’t it, the escapism! The chance to put aside all that’s going on around us and just be in that moment, enjoying two friends, sharing a stage, their talents, beautiful music and their charm with us. We laughed together, some of us cried & we all just enjoyed that moment, soaking up Tuckman’s Christmas Cracker LIVE on stage.
Massive props to the team behind them that helped bring it all together in the perfectly wrapped package that it was. Obviously huge props to the MD Christopher Duffy, helping set the tone & tune for the evening. The wonderful Danny Kaan (Photography & Videography, Lois Morgan Gay, Sound/Lighting, the staff at The Crazy Coqs & all those behind the scenes.
The only disappointment of the night was that it had to end. My take aways from the evening are that basically we need all Tuckman, all the time. Next year I expect their Christmas Cracker to move to the Palladium, giving us a full 2.5hr gig, with a Christmas album (complete with duet of Winter Song by Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles) & of course a just for fun whatever they wanna duet album too. Who wouldn’t love a stocking with two Tuckman albums? Seriously who? Also that they need their own TV show, where they can just entertain us on a weekly basis. Not to be too demanding or anything.
Luckily for us, on Monday the 21st we have the stream of the gig i’ve been rambling on about so you can see for yourself what all the fuss is about. (Book Here – https://tickets.artist-tix.com/tickets/series/LouAndRachel/a-live-stream-with-lou-rachels-christmas-cracker-280156?startDate=12-21-2020).
They also have gigs planned in Horsham in the New Year which you should all keep an eye on. Obviously it will be subject to changes in accordance with Tier’s and such. Saturday – 23rd January @ The Capitol Theatre, Horsham – Book Here https://www.thecapitolhorsham.com/whats-on/all-shows/louise-and-rachel-live-in-concert/18900/#schedules
If you enjoy spoilers….. watch this trailer for the Livestream & then BOOK!!