Review | I’d Rather Be Me: Amy Lovatt Live, Above the Arts Studio Theatre ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Six, the wildly popular new West End musical, is currently wowing audiences at the Arts Theatre in Leicester Square. Above this theatre, there is a little-known venue aptly called Above the Arts. It’s a relaxed setting with some stylish artwork, a small bar, some sofas and typically plays host to cabaret acts. On a Saturday afternoon, Amy Lovatt graced the stage with her very first concert, ‘I’d Rather Be Me’. The set opened with a playful rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls and included many musical theatre fan favourites including songs from The Last Five Years, Miss Saigon and Little Shop of Horrors.

Some of you may be wondering who exactly Amy Lovatt is. Although Amy has previously appeared on the London stage in the recent production of Fanatical, she is best known as a YouTuber who loves to talk about all things musicals. Her stagey content includes vlogs of her theatre trips, song covers, reaction videos and videos where she provides commentary on drama in the theatre community. My personal favourite is her twenty minute plea to bring back the brilliant TV show Smash. Her channel is a place of solace for many musical theatre fans who find it hard to come by others who equally obsess over similar things such as Jeremy Jordan in Newsies. Quite simply there aren’t many YouTubers like her.

Amy has an awkward yet hilarious personality and is an unashamed musical theatre fan. On the stage, she has exactly the same presence as she does in her videos.  The only difference being that when she performs, she transforms from someone doing covers from the comfort of her bedroom to someone who’s able to command an audience on stage. She particularly shone during her moving performance of Scott Alan’s ‘Anything Worth Holding On To’, a song about the struggle to maintain motivation which clearly resonated with many people in the audience.

Although the show wasn’t perfect and there were minor instances where she forgot the lyrics, she won us over completely thanks to her charm. In the audience, we are akin to guests in her living room and she appears at ease when she talks to us. My favourite moments were when we got to know her better in-between songs, for example when she recounts her first ever date in London which didn’t quite go to plan or the time when she got strangely creative in one of her audition tapes.

Straddling the line between YouTube and acting isn’t one without controversy. Take the scandal around the YouTuber Tanya Burr being cast in Confidence last year or the flack Carrie Hope Fletcher receives around being cast in roles due to her social media following rather than her talent. But in the cruel and increasingly competitive world of performance, Amy appears to be carving out her own path and making a success of it. In the final song of the show, Amy proudly sings ‘I’d Rather Be Me’  and honestly we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s hoping this is the first of many more stage appearances to come.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to follow Amy Lovatt, you can follow her at her social media links below:

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