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Ali with Kristin Chenoweth at the RAH

Ali with Dave Arch at St. James Studio

The Royal Albert Hall

Alison in Cabaret






cd Alison Jiear

Click here to read an interview with Alison re: UNDER THE INFLUENCE at St. James Theatre



"Another gem was her powerhouse duet with Alison Jiear to ‘Enough is Enough’, the Streisand/Summer classic."


"Telling the audience to ‘get ready’, she was then joined by the utterly phenomenal vocals of Alison Jiear with the pair performing the Streisand/Summer disco hit ‘Enough is Enough’."


UNDER THE INFLUENCE St. James Studio London 2013

THE AMERICAN  by Jarlath O’Connell

On a recent Sunday night, Australian chanteuse Alison Jiear played a blinder of a gig here, to a rightly adoring crowd. An astounding talent, she combines impeccable artistry, great warmth and complete command of her audience. With a voice that can tackle any style, she does just that. Always totally connected to her material, over the course of two riveting hours she made a packed house laugh, cry, groove, mellow-out and get funky. Accompanied by a stonking quartet led by Dave Arch, known to millions as the MD of TV’s Strictly Come Dancing, I can’t recall seeing anyone before her with such sheer versatility.

On Strictly, versatility must also be Arch’s middle name, and here he pulled off the same trick, producing for Jiear a set of dazzling arrangements, covering the whole gamut of musical styles. Who else but Jiear could rival Al Jarreau with his swing take on My Favourite Things or up the pitch and slow the tempo on You're My World and make that old Cilla war horse sound fresh, or even resurrect The Seekers, with a jaunty A World Of Our Own. Her talent for soul exploded in a mini Aretha section, culminating in a very personal tribute to her own favourite goddess, Chaka Khan, with the low down and dirty Tell Me Something Good.

Her lethal wit got unleashed in the devilishly clever One Note Samba, whose musical challenge nearly finished off her devoted MD. Arch too displayed an exquisite sensitivity himself in his piano solos on numbers like Blue Skies. Carole King, Janis Ian and Barbra Streisand each got a nod and she finished off with a heartfelt Both Sides Now, which didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.

Barbra’s Papa Can You Hear Me segued into some spiritual music, something also close to her heart, and she related how she had recorded a special album of Christian music for her Dad, when he became seriously ill. Desperately wanting to record an “inspirational” album, she is now trying to raise the funds, but on the evidence of this, her focus should be on capturing a live set, as that would really convey her special appeal.

Criminally underrated and underused since her stint as the female lead in Jerry Springer – The Opera, she is so much more than a West End gal trying out her act. Her struggle with “weight issues”, as they say, while in the chorus of Les Misérables meant she never did manage to take over the role of Fantine, as was promised. But her loss was our gain as it inspired a deliciously twisted take on I Dreamed A Dream, where it is re-born for the Grand Ole Opry.

The key to her brilliance is that she approaches each genre with such love and respect. There is no ironic distance here. She knows she’s good and she gets on with it and that confidence is enchanting.

She is in Ronnie Scott’s on April 28 as part of a Frank and Ella show but Under the Influence is the set to look out for."



In 1988 my Antipodean workmate took me to a show featuring the music of the 60s Girl Groups called ‘The Fabulous Singlettes‘ a close-harmony trio in wasp-waisted dresses and towering beehives. Like everyone else, I fell in love with the cheeky chubby one and have been following Ms Alison Jiear ever since.  I’ve seen her in stage musicals including possibly the only one about cannibalism that isn’t Sweeney Todd, in two operas, at a children’s dance school in Brentwood, and in the rain at Birmingham Pride.  I’m also quite proud to say that in 2007 I persuaded her to front a performance with the London Gay Men’s Chorus, and hired the Palladium so she could do it properly, and indoors.

It’s hard to think of another female singer, living or dead, who encompasses the range of styles with which she’s comfortable and so consummately good.  And therein perhaps lies her problem, that she’s impossible to pigeonhole.  From her extraordinarily varied set at the lovely St James’s Studio, she proves that had she been black rather than a well-nourished white girl from Melbourne, she might have been a second Aretha Franklin, so thoroughly did she tear the place up with Natural Woman.  But she also revisits Janis Ian and Carole King with equal conviction and treads the most dangerous ground for any chanteuse, covering Ella Fitzgerald, and still pulling it off with a ton of panache, especially in a two-speed Lady Be Good to honour both Ella’s ballad and up-tempo versions.  The audience were just awestruck.

She’s at her original best when she takes a familiar standard and transposes it to a completely different style so you hear it as if for the first time and working on gorgeous arrangements with her pianist, Strictly Come Dancing‘s MD Dave Arch, Jiear turns Dusty Springfield’s evergreen rocker I Only Wanna Be With You soulful and torchy,  The Seekers’ 49-year old I’ll Never Find Another You comes up newly minted or – in a completely hilarious riff on failing to be cast as Fantine in Les Miserables because she was a few good dinners shy of plausibly dying of consumption, I Dreamed A Dream is salvaged from the maw of SuBo to become the Country and Western twanger Reba McEntire would crawl over broken glass to have chosen first.

Jiear is arguably the finest interpreter of New York composer David Friedman’s sensitive and internalised songs – Trust The Wind is an anthem from her 2012 album, and showcased here with a touch more belt than it needs his graceful In Your Eyes becomes the title of her newest.  It seems there’s nothing to which she can’t bend her voice."


THE STAGE   by Mark Shenton

"There’s an infinite joy to seeing someone you know and love again and again, who actually delivers each time and whom you are not on tenterhooks for whether they can do so. I never tire of or am disappointed by the glorious Barbara Cook or Alison Jiear, an Australian-born performer who has long been resident in London, whom I saw again on Sunday in my first visit to the wonderful new St James Theatre’s Studio space.
She’s probably best known nowadays for originating the role of Shawntel, the aspiring pole dancer in Jerry Springer – the Opera, but she’s about much more than that; in real life, she just wants to sing.  And boy, can she sing!
There’s hardly a bigger, better voice in all of London’s theatre land; and in her amazing set at the St James’s, she showcased everything from Burt Bacharach and Cilla Black to Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein and more. All that, and a downright hilarious “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables, re-imagined as a country and western classic.
She’s an unmissable marvel. "


Pizza on the Park, London 2009

THE STAGE   by Mark Shenton

“ powerhouse diva ...she just wants to sing, and we just want to listen to her. Sure, she can still belt, but she also accesses a whole range of different colours and emotions in this wide-ranging set of gorgeous songs, beautifully chosen and hauntingly arranged to the stonking accompaniment of the Clive Dunstall Trio, to demonstrate a new-found grace and maturity.
I’ve always loved the mischievous Jiear and that persona is still gloriously on offer.  Jiear hardly goes for the standard-issue show tune or cabaret repertoire, ...a sensational and moving set.”

WHAT’S ON STAGE     by Theo Bosanquet

“The superlatively talented Australian cabaret singer Alison Jiear, hits you like a tidal wave of loveable charm from the off. Her repertoire is a blend skilful of pop and show tunes.  .  This is not an evening of raucousness, but a gentler exposition of nuanced vocal work and equally note-perfect comic delivery. Supported by Clive Dunstall on piano, Sam Burgess on bass and a gurning Mike Smith on drums, the set passes in the blink of an eye and by the time a pared down version of the Beatles' “In My Life” has put a fitting full-stop on proceedings, you climb out onto the street as if emerging from a dream. An all-over massage for the soul."


Tenth Annual Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention New York


Barbara & Scott Siegel :

"Also from England (okay, she's really Australian) was the thrilling Alison Jiear; we were knocked out by her vocal prowess & her comfort on stage. "

NY Cabaret Convention Web Review

"Next David (Friedman) introduced a singer who flew in from London for the convention at his invitation, having heard her perform in England on a recent visit. Her name is Alison Jiear, and believe me, this young lady has one of the finest voices heard in some time. Alison sang "Listen To My Heart" to close the first part of the show. This show could have ended then and there, and I would have been fully satisfied - and more."

Cabaret Convention Review : Stu Hamstra

"Introduced next was Alison Jiear, who somehow manages to get to the US from England every few years to regale us with her vocals. She opened her set by shyly admitting that she was actually originally from Australia, and then proceeded to sing David Friedman's "Trust The Wind." She followed with a soul-stirring "I Believe." Ms. Jiear will be performing tonight and tomorrow night, October 24th & 25th at DON'T TELL MAMA at 11:30 pm. I realize the hour is late, but I urge you to catch this gal before she goes back to the UK. I hope to be able to attend both shows (I live in the neighborhood)."


Jermyn Street Theatre

Mark Shenton : The Stage, May 3, 2001

No musical, or at any rate casting director, has yet found a way of fully exploiting the phenomenal talent of Alison Jiear. But to experience her live in cabaret, to be hit by a gale force of personality and voice, is to have demonstrated just what they are missing.

Her ballsy humour and self deprecating wit puts one in mind of a cheekily mischievous Aussie version of Bette Midler, while her astounding voice has the brass, vigour and attack of a young Liza Minnelli.

She also has the scintillating vocal tones and colours of the late, great New York cabaret singer Nancy LaMott. Such praise is endorsed by the fact that LaMott's signature composer, David Friedman, has penned no less than three songs on her new album, Forgiveness' Embrace, that this cabaret set is based around. Her passionate rendition of Friedman's Trust the Wind might have established her as one of LaMott's natural successors, but she is also her own natural woman.

The show stretches magnificently from show tunes, an emotional pairing of songs from the Broadway musical The Life, as yet unseen here, is particularly astutely arranged, to pop songs, the Cilla Black hit You're My World is rendered with delicate beauty. She also lets rip with her trademark humour in the Stiles/Drewe song, again written especially for her, Diva.


Alison Jiear : Sydney Town Hall

"How often do you associate Big Business with the promotion of cabaret? Thanks to the corporate sponsorship of the US-based Kemper Insurance Companies on May 10th, Alison Jiear made her Australian Cabaret debut.

The evening may have been the finale of a large corporate function for agents of this large insurance firm, but for the lucky contingent of Australians present, it was an opportunity to enjoy the art of a superb performer. Though the occasion was unusual, the appearance of this superb performer in Sydney could not go unreported.
Alison Jiear is an Australian ex-pat from Queensland who moved to London in 1987 to broaden her performance opportunities. On the basis of her work at this Town Hall function, Australia has a great deal to be proud of with this "export." It would be difficult to single out a few highlights because there were so many fine moments to praise, but I will just mention a few.

Alison's work displayed her ability to sing in a wide variety of styles with a voice that is remarkable both for its large range and tonal beauty. She moved effortlessly between ballads and comedy, but for me her most powerful moments were in the unique arrangements of Roy Orbison's "Crying" and the Cilla Black hit "You're my World." This is technique in the service of her art.

Alison Jiear really opened up lifted the prevailing mood from intimate blues to an up-tempo roll that really topped off the evening before sending the guests home with Jule Styne's "People."