April 1, 2024

The Best I‘ve Seen

Join Kevin Dowsett as he delves into the captivating world of performers. From the timeless melodies of Paul McCartney to the effortless resonance of Frank Sinatra, and the profound humanity of Sir Derek Jacobi, each embodies a rare blend of talent and authenticity that transcends mere performance.

Over the years I have seen many performers at different venues and productions. Often people don’t stand out because they are part of a team and they are careful not to overbalance what everyone else is doing. But there are some performers whose talent is so powerful but you feel in the presence of something special. In this category, I am recalling three people.

Firstly Paul McCartney. He seems a very modest superstar – down to earth and connected with everyone. He has been performing since the mid-1950s and is still delivering sell-out performances in sets that last nearly three hours. Nearly everything he sings is instantly recognisable and greeted with applause. There is “something about the way” he embodies the good guy and his songs are simple yet poetic – they speak to us and our lives. I have the feeling that many of his songs will still be played in hundreds of years. And what a performer. His voice may not be what it was but he can still rock and roll and he surrounds himself with great musicians. He still finishes his show with “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make” and you feel he means it. 

I had the privilege to see Frank Sinatra at the Royal Albert Hall. When he was introduced the audience rose as one – me included, and roared. What a singer – it all seemed so effortless as his voice soared with such resonance. He always credited the people who wrote the songs and like the best performers, he seemed to live their stories. He owned the feelings inside them even though he had sung them hundreds of times. The performance was transcendent in the sense that it seemed to exist somewhere else – through his voice, he seemed to touch everyone. The word legend has become overused. I don’t know if he was a legend but you felt you were in the presence of someone truly special.

Finally an actor, our patron, Sir Derek Jacobi. Like his contemporaries Sir Ian McKellan and Dame Judi Dench, he is an extraordinary classical actor who speaks verse beautifully and intelligently. For me he is always truthful on stage, you feel he thinks deeply but he can express these thoughts simply. He seems so human and like the best actors can transform himself from vulnerable to all-powerful. I remember seeing him in a light comedy and it was the first night. The actors seemed to be having such a great time, you couldn’t resist feeling the same. You feel here is someone with integrity.

There are many others but for me, these are three of the best.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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