“Chris Ma’s orchestrations are warm and passionate. The cast – all triple threats – inhabit the songs with beautiful harmonies… soar with ease.”

Broadway World

“From there, the quality doesn’t dip at all with beautiful harmonies adding layers to complex yet fully accessible melodies all fantastically realised by Jason Howland’s arrangements and orchestrations… and Chris Ma’s musical direction. Feeling instantly familiar yet refreshingly new, this is a show full of musical highlights that left me longing for a London cast recording.”

All That Dazzles

…this show is packed with memorable hits (orchestrated by Jason Howland and with exemplary musical direction by Chris Ma), From heart-pounding ensemble numbers that capture the tension of the chase to soul-stirring solos that delve into the characters’ inner turmoil, the music amplifies every scene, drawing the audience deeper into the story’s intricate web.”

Flippin Awesome

Jason Howland’s sumptuous orchestration is given full justice by Musical Director Chris Ma’s sixteen-piece band. It is a sonic binge, yet the vocal performances cut through with a clarity that displays the talent within the cast. When the ensemble cast sing together the effect is mesmerising, and each of the seven lead cast members has their moment to shine.

The Spy In The Stalls

“The 16-piece stage band, cleverly hidden behind the set, but sounding ‘live’ is energetically conducted by Chris Ma”

London Theatre 1

“The singing is equally as impressive and musical director Chris Ma has brought out rich harmonies from the score. With many of the cast taking on solos they all bring unique voices to the company which works brilliantly in creating the sounds of the island.”

Music Theatre Musings

“Musical accompaniment rarely gets a look-in in terms of critical praise, but Chris Ma’s stalwart band of just 6 certainly deserves plenty of it here, delivering top-notch support for the admirably engaging vocals.”

Act Drop

“…their voices blend beautifully in their whole-cast songs (a credit to Chris Ma’s musical direction) and they sustain energy throughout 85 minutes with no interval.”

Theatre Weekly

“The band are…splendid”

British Theatre Guide

“The songs were performed with warmth and sold in a spellbinding way, under the musical direction Chris Ma.”

London Theatre Reviews

“The sound balance between the performers and the band, the latter directed by Chris Ma, is excellent, allowing the rapid dialogue and the narrative-driven songs to be understood as they were meant to be.”

London Theatre 1

“There was certainly a good balance between Chris Ma’s four-piece band of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums.”

Traffic Light Theatre Goer

“Musical director Chris Ma have done an exquisite job on this production. The complex rock score is excellently executed by the band and cast whilst still capturing a youthful spark that is so vital to the show.”

At The Theatre

“MD Chris Ma and his band… delivered a great sound and helped keep the energy levels high throughout.”

London Theatre 1

“With musical director Chris Ma and his musicians, the songs are delightful and carry the story beautifully…”


“Musical Director Chris Ma leads an excellent fix-piece band setting a crisp and energetic pace for the show.”


“The band under Chris Ma does wonders with the score.”

Reviews Gate

“…the music is uplifting and captures the party atmosphere of the reimagined Olympia really well.”


“Stephen Flaherty’s easy listening, melodic score combines calypso influenced numbers with power ballads, all sung and played beautifully under the musical direction of Chris Ma.”

The Reviews Hub

“Along with superb musical direction from Chris Ma, the show sounds simply fantastic.”

Once a Week Theatre

“The band, under Musical Director Chris Ma sounded great, and at times it felt that there were more than six people performing music.”


“Special mention must go to the band which is just a string trio plus Musical Director Chris Ma on keyboards but at times they sound like a lush orchestra… Ma directs the musicians superbly and they’re the perfect accompaniment for the two performers – a chamber orchestra for a chamber musical.”

Last Minute Theatre Tickets

“[John and Jen] has stunning music accompaniment led by Chris Ma’s four-pice band.”

Shenton Stage

“Lippa and Greenwald’s surging score … finely played by Chris Ma’s superb, string heavy quartet.”

AJH Loves Theatre

“And as for that band, yes they make a lovely sound in a pretty complex score blending together attractively with music director Chris Ma on keys.”

Sardines Magazine

“…performed meticulously well by a four-piece band led by musical director Chris Ma.”

Musical Theatre Review