Theatre + Radio
Will Allenby's big break came when he was offered the role of the Herald (The Grand Duke) in the BBC Savoy Series in 1989 with an all-star cast with the Ambrosian singers and the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth. This paved the way for many broadcasts for BBC Radio 2 and 3 over the years, culminating in him being invited to be a star singer on the BBC's longest running light music programme, 'Friday Night is Music Night' in a wealth of musical theatre repertoire.
He originally broadcast from the Golders Green Hippodrome before moving to the BBC Maida Vale studios. More recently he broadcast from the Mermaid Theatre, Blackfriars in the City of London. His most popular repertoire at the BBC includes music from; South Pacific, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma, Les Miserables, Carousel, The Song of Norway and Mack and Mabel, working with leading radio presenters, John Dunn, Brian Kay, and Ken Bruce.
Having such a high profile on the BBC has led to many opportunities. As a result of being partnered with BBC favourite Marilyn Hill Smith for her 100th broadcast on 'Friday Night is Music Night', Much Loved Productions invited him to star in their Rogers and Hammerstein Show with Marilyn Hill Smith on tour in the UK.
Aside from the BBC William has appeared more traditionally in International Tours of Jesus Christ Superstar with Westend International, conducted by Martyn Yates, at the Alfredo Krauss Auditorium in Gran Canaria and also in Iceland.
Will met Mel Mellers when they were booked alongside each other as headline acts on many cruises for the Holland America line.
It soon became obvious that their unique brand of humour and entertainment styles would work well if they combined their talents.
Thus the 'Mel and Will show' was born.
They have since worked together on many occasions to very appreciative audiences on land and sea, drawing on their combined gifts of personality-led audience interaction, comedy, magic, music and mayhem.
They co-wrote 'An Evening of Sorcery and Song' in 2009
An Evening of Sorcery and Song
Barrington Theatre, Bournemouth
The show commenced with the talented Mel Mellers interacting with the audience. His fast repartee with his chosen 'victims' soon had all spellbound and laughing at his quick wit, powers of observation interaction and magic skills.
Then followed the wonderful baritone voice of Will Allenby whose resume includes English National Opera and Covent Garden. His larger than life personality bounded on stage in white dinner jacket and he soon had 'the Ferdown Secret Choir' (the audience!) joining him in 'Edelweiss' and his other well chosen songs from popular shows. A wonderful talent who at times also accompanied himself at the piano.
To bring the first half to a close he was joined on stage by Mel, and the two of them really interacted well together.
Attired in full evening dress, Will Allenby treated the eager audience, in his second solo spot to a selection of well known classics, notably the 'Music of the Night' from Phantom of the Opera and a walkabout during 'With a Song in My Heart'.
The finale saw the introduction of a duet of 'Figaro' with Leslie Parrot (a parrot puppet!) assisted by Mel Mellers with Will doing both voices, truly amazing.
The pair then performed 'Musicalepathy' where Will, playing the 'Addams family' theme and suspiciously looking like the late Ali Bongo succeeded in mind reading a song title being thought of a member of the audience, which he then performed.
Both artists received a standing ovation at the end.........
This show definitely deserves a repeat performance to enable all who enjoyed this truly scrumptious treat to tell friends and family. Bookers take note, this show is ideal for any venue from Theatres to Clubs.
Magic Week (Claudette Evans)
Will has performed many times in London's west end, most notably at the largest auditorium in London, the Coliseum theatre. In 2011 he was engaged to sing the role of Pish Tush alongside Alfie Boe in the 25th anniversary production of Jonathan Miller's famous updating of 'The Mikado' to universal critical acclaim.
Pish Tush Mikado
with Alfie Boe (Nanki-Poo)
Photo by Fiona Rich
Pish Tush (Mikado)
English National Opera/London Coliseum
The Mikado is very much an ensemble piece and fortunately ENO fielded a very strong team of singers who (essentially for G&S) also had a real flair for acting. ... In the role of Pish-Tush William Robert Allenby made a very strong impression with his expositional solo "Our great Mikado"; his warm baritone is full of tonal colours and he boasted clear diction and fine acting skills to boot.
Opera Britannia (Fiona Courtney)
The bill boards talk in terms of a stellar cast and they are not wrong. ... Pish Tush's quintessentially Ealing vicar is an inspired piece of characterisation sung with delicacy and refinement by William Robert Allenby. ... It is not in any way to denigrate the multitude of Mikados performed at many different levels (all with love and enthusiasm) to say that a flawlessly sung and acted version is not merely a wonderful experience but almost a new perspective on such a well known piece.
THE PUBLIC REVIEWS (Jeffrey Mayhew)
There is great visual wit from the vicar (William Robert Allenby) with his harlequined knee-socks.
Curtain Up (Lizzie Loveridge)
William [Robert] Allenby, another solid baritone, was a confident Pish-Tush; his eccentric costume (which included knee-high socks and a dog collar) matched by his highly charged and eclectic performance.
Music OMH (Lottie Greenhow)
There has surely never been a better all-round cast. Alfie Boe is a dashing Nanki-Poo, Donald Maxwell a suitably haughty Pooh-Bah, William Robert Allenby a rosey-cheeked Pish-Tush and Claudia Huckle a rich voiced Pitti-Sing.
WORLD PRESS DIGEST (Sam Smith)
Sing God a Simple Song
William Allenby as Leonard Bernstein in 'Sing God a Simple Song' devised by Carl Davis and Pamela Howard.
A Policeman's Lot
Echo productions built a show of famous Gilbert and Sullivan patter songs around his comic talents which resulted in another national tour.
Six Nights In Naples
William Robert Allenby's latest assumption is the role of Salvatore in the new musical Six Nights in Naples which he has recently recorded, with the official west end staging in the pipeline.