News and Reviews

Jan as Mother Abbess

Jan Hartley as the
"Mother Abbess" in Bill Kenwright's production of
"The Sound Of Music"


Daily Mail
1st April 2015,
by Emily Sheridan:

"Giving a standout performance as the Mother Superior is
Jan Hartley.
Bringing a matriarchal warmth to the character as Maria's mentor, she left many of the audience in tears with her stunning rendition of Climb Every Mountain"


Celebrating Arias Through the Ages

The Farnham Herald, 26th April 2013
"The audience at St Andrew's Church, Farnham, last Saturday evening (April 20), was treated to a different and wonderfully engaging evening.
Jan Hartley who showed the admiring audience why she is so rated as a West End star, with four arias presented within a cabaret. Her voice is beautiful to listen to, warm toned and absolutely magnificent; a bravura performance. With her fabulous voice and delightful personality, Jan proved undoubtedly a star.
Within a mainly classical set, Jan began with Oh Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicci, then Habanara, form Carmen, Think Of Me from Phantom of the Opera, (Jan performed as Christine for a year in London in Phantom), and finally Nella Fantasia from the film The Mission. As she said: "A brief celebration of the aria through the ages".
Jan was accompanied throughout by Paul Darrah who proved a superbly sensitive player having stepped in at short notice to this demanding role."

The Merry Widow:

The Edinburgh News:
"Hartley has no problem with her projection, nor with her delicious characterisation of the gold-digging farmer's daughter who is not just out to shock society, but is also determined to be two steps ahead of it. By the time the plot has moved on to a traditional Pontevedrian party at Hanna's residence, Hartley has warmed up enough to give a spine-tingling rendition of the Vilja song, in which she entertains her guests with the sad story of a hunter who lost his heart when he stepped off the path on a snowy night."

Bath Evening Post:
"Jan Hartley presents the merriest of widows, bubbly as the champagne which flows around her and singing with both clarity and effervescence. Her rendition of the folk song "Vilja" was particularly impressive."

The Bermingham Post:
"Jan Hartley is ravishing as the merry widow herself appearing in a series of fashion plate gowns themselves worth the price of the ticket money. And how Ms Hartley can sing! And what anguish she can provide for us as her love affair waxes and wanes."

Bless The Bride:

The Daily Telegraph:
"The bride to be blessed is Jan Hartley, so graceful and good-looking that we are surprised to discover how well she can sing."

The Sound Of Music:

The Irish Times:
"In the Julie Andrews role of Maria there is now Jan Hartley, who has an exuberant and spontaneous quality of her own. Her voice is rich and clear and there is no sense of strain on the highest notes, even when engaged in boisterous activity."

La Cenerentola:

The Evening Standard:
"Hartley's Cinderella showed a shining control of timbre and coloratura, and she gauged her acting well: the pathos was not over-done"

Bronte - The Musical:

The Lincolnshire Echo:
"Jan Hartley, who played Charlotte Bronte, brought this intense and complex woman so alive you could feel the passions of her famous character Jane Eyre - a rather risque book for that period."


Financial Times:
"Jan Hartley gives the most touching and beautiful singing I can ever remember hearing in a musical.
Hartley plays Wallis. She acts with great dignity and with delicate feeling. And her singing really does transcend its context. This is singing that develops naturally out of speech, with no change of gear; and it is so full of touching colour and refinement that it speaks more truly, more intensely, than her speaking.
It is also singing of rare accomplishment, secure from the handsome lower register to the glowing top, capable of swelling a long-held note or of making several different musical points within a single phrase. In particular, she can float the softest high notes above the stave, not as a special effect but as a completely expressive part of her music and characterisation. And by all these means, she not only makes us take this musical Wallis seriously, she also suggests an intimate, dreaming, lost-girl Wallis that history books do not relate."

Jan Hartley

"the thrilling, melodic voice
of Jan Hartley"

Evening Standard
Bless the Bride

"the most touching and
beautiful singing I can ever

remember hearing in a
musical ... a rare talent"

Financial Times

"Jan Hartley in the title
role ... pure enchantment"

Cape Town Argus
The Merry Widow

"especially fine work
from Jan Hartley
... lusciously tuneful"

Daily Telegraph
Dreams From A Summer House

"Jan Hartley is brilliant
... a magnificent voice"

The Stage

"a pitch-perfect performance"
The Guardian