Luke Kempner first found success in his one man show The Only Way is Downton which he took to Edinburgh and subsequently transferred for a four week run in the Trafalgar Studios in London. This year he’s back with his new one-man impressions show Judi Dench Broke My Heart at the Pleasance Dome. He tells us this is a love story, an unlikely romance between himself and Dench and the many celebrities they meet on the way.
Pulling on his background in musical theatre and subsequent performance in Les Miserables, he intertwines excerpts of the songs to fit his romantic story and plays off the audience well.
Kempner’s impressions range from the sublime to the ridiculous; Ian McKellen conducts the wedding ceremony, Jeremy Kyle stokes the relationship crisis and Alan Carr has a meltdown as Louis Theroux documents the proceedings.
A few of the impressions escaped the audience; little known daytime television hosts a fairly international crowd, and some aspects of the show lingered longer than they should have. All in all the show could have been made a little more slick and the story line could have developed more -there was little narrative embellishment beyond the central concept. However, the final song was incredibly technical and energetic and tied the show together beautifully.
Luke Kempner surely has an exciting career ahead of him and no doubt will be appearing on our television screens soon – his range of vocal impressions simply too vast to ever be kept quiet.