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Debbie Wileman - Judy: I'm Still Here | Ambassador's Theatre

Debbie Wilemans Judy: I’m Still Here played for one night only at the Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End. 

While definitely a show for Judy Garland fans, it’s not your typical tribute show. Wileman arrives on stage donned with a Garland like wig, and an outfit sequinned to the nines, and while she isn’t the spitting image, there is a fair resemblance. However, her ability to sing in the style of Garland is something else entirely. It’s quite astounding how similar she sounds, but what makes it even better, she does so in a way that doesn’t come off as a parody or shoddy impersonation. 

Wileman, while perhaps troubled with some nerves to begin with, easily pulled the audience in with her stories and anecdotes between songs. Telling us about Garland, her journey to the stage, and the Ambassadors Theatre itself. It was a concert with some history sprinkled in, which was a lovely touch, and made you realise that she was just a normal girl with a love of Garland and a great voice. You could immediately feel her passion for Garland and the genre, as it shone through at all times, along with the pure emotion she put into every song. 

What set this concert apart from other tribute acts, is that it wasn’t a roster full of greatest hits or an autobiographical look at their success. Instead, Wileman did stay true to some Garland classics like Over the Rainbow and Get Happy, but she went down the interesting route of performing songs that she thought Garland would or should have performed given the chance, such as Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, and a Beatles melody. We even got a few songs from the musical Mame, which Wileman tells us was written with Garland in mind for the lead but was never brought to fruition. This is such an interesting take on this style of concert and gave for an interesting twist that helps keep those who perhaps aren’t the most devoted Garland fans engaged and intrigued.  

Overall, Wileman has a truly wonderful, down to earth nature, that immediately puts the audience at ease, and made it feel like she was performing to her friends and family, rather than a theatre full of strangers, making it a wonderful evening for all. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Joseph Marzullo (The Stander Group)


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