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The Magic of “Lorraine Brown –The Velvet Voice” on London’s West End

Updated on May 22, 2024

Acclaimed singer and performer Lorraine Brown has experienced much of the excitement a life in the world of entertainment offers, from international tours to performing for millions on television (Warsaw’s Televisja Polonia and the BAFTA award–winning Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeawayto name just two) to topping the World Dance charts with the hit “Hypnotic Erotic Games: by Soulshaker: featuring Lorraine Brown.” Still, Lorraine will readily admit that the apex of her world is London’s West End. This legendary entertainment district has always been special for so many, including Ms. Brown who is herself a UK native. The reverence and relevance which are both instilled in the West End music scene lured Lorraine to perform her one-woman show titled “Lorraine Brown – The Velvet Voice”, garnering profound acclaim and attracting new fans. While a return engagement is being scheduled, we wanted to gain some insight into what inspired Lorraine to create such a momentous evening of music and why she chose the West End to present it.

You truly fit the definition of international music talent. You’ve performed all over the world. Having done a number of engagements on cruise lines has expanded your global audience of fans so, what is it about the West End of London that kept calling you?

Lorraine Brown (LB): I have performed for many years in Production and Variety Shows, which have enabled me to travel and work on some of the best theatre stages throughout the UK and Europe as a headline performer. I’ve been fortunate enough to perform variations of my own ‘One Woman Show’ on numerous cruise lines over several years and enjoyed much success. However, I was always aware that very few guests had specifically booked solely to see me perform and I wanted to rectify that. My ‘One Woman Show’ in the UK debuted at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre in 2022 and it was a sell out for twonights. I was immediately invited back in 2023. Again, the show which followed the same format was a resounding success! Other artists and agents saw my show and it was soon after that I received the offer for me to take my show into the West End of London. Many artists dream of such a chance but never get it and to be honest, I felt as though the time was right for me! The West End of London is the pinnacle of entertainment and is often referred to with the likes of Broadway in New York. It is varied and all encompassing. It is prestigious and has kudos like no other yet there is a pressure to succeed,which I relish.

I would dare to say that there’s a similar international aspect to audiences in the West End and those who have enjoyed your performances abroad.

LB: Firstly, West End audiences are very much like no other. London and the UK attract so many visitors from all over the world that people who frequent shows are multicultural. Patrons of the West End are treated to many versions of art and entertainment and have high expectations and standards. There is so much choice and pure excitement that every minute is filled with great experiences. Many are tourists and with such a transient audience it is important to make sure that their entertainment experience is of the highest quality.

There was unquestionably a great deal of excitement at Crazy Coqs Café Zendel during your performance. Your show offers your own original take on greats such as Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, and many of Motown’s iconic singers. Your interpretations are highly creative, utilizing influences from music genres that are unexpected. May I ask, what are some of the most meaningful songs for you during the nearly one-and-a-half-hour long show?

LB: “Get Here” was the first song that I ever had the chance to sing solo on British TV to a viewership of 20 million. This haunting ballad has always been a favorite of mine. My husband, who also happens to be an amazing pianist, and I arranged a combination of the Dionne Warwick songs “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “You’ll Never Get to Heaven.” I feel these two songs complement each other so well. I am in the process of producing a show celebrating the musical career of Dionne Warwick and this will be featured. I’m such an admirer of the work she did with Burt Bacharach. “My Baby Just Cares for Me” is a Gus Kahn jazz song made famous by Nina Simonewhich is deceptively challenging. The register is quite low and it also allows my wonderful pianist ‘Harry the Piano’ to be featured. He’s one of the UK’s best. Finally, “That’s What Friends are For” is one of the most recognizable songs ever. Beyond all of the awareness and money that it raised for those suffering from AIDS, I connect with it deeply and it takes me to a higher place, vocally and spiritually.

Having witnessed the standing ovations and cheers at your performance, I would dare to guess that this is confirmation of how admired you are for your talent. What is the most fulfilling part of the experience for you as an artist?

LB: I give thanks every day for the gift that I have been given and certainly do not take anything for granted. I have been blessed with many enjoyable professional experiences. That response from the audience is validation for my hard work and, more importantly, inspiration for all my shows that are to follow. The audience changes for each performance along with the atmosphere. There is a deeper connection to the audience who can witness every movement and nuance on the stage. My “One Woman Show” invites my audiences to come on a journey with me. It will be emotional. It will definitely be honest because that is the only way that I know how to perform, and it will be joyous because that’s how I feel when I’m on stage. I give thanks for the opportunity to share my voice with people who have chosen to give me their time. We are friends. I look forward to the future.

© 2024 Corey Matthews


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