The concert was called Bring me Sunshine and it certainly delivered: filling all in the Anglican Church on Friday evening with feelgood sunny smiles and warmth. With around 120 in the audience there was barely a space on a pew to spare. I had no idea what to expect. I had of course been to some of Conway Jones well-known productions in the past and heard Izzy Newman entertaining on numerous occasions, but the other singers were unknown to me.
However, it was quickly obvious that Andy Marchant and Richard Western were professionals who had flown over from London and I wasn’t surprised to learn that they were both busy entertaining audiences around Britain. Richard, touring in a double drag act called Pearl and Deen, particularly delighted to ditch his fake eye-lashes and wig for the night. Andy opened the show with a taste of things to come with Elton John’s wonderful song Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King.
The ladies each with their different tone of style beautifully sang a wide variety of songs to delight all. Izzy Newman was in very fine voice, exhibiting her classical training as a mezzo soprano with emotionally sung favourites from Porgy and Bess and Somewhere from West Side Story.
Val Smith eloquently sang Falling Leaves while Lorna Towers and Isobel Allen sang Requiem Pie Jesu so sweetly that I had goosebumps down my spine. Indeed both ladies revealed effortless, pure choir voices, producing one of the best renditions of the song I had ever heard.
Interspersed were lighter moments with Richard Western and a jolly sing-song as he belted out such favourites as Half A Sixpence and The Lambeth Walk. All the while Conway Jones proved he was as ever highly accomplished on the piano, expertly accompanying the talented cast, even playing by ear when no sheet music was available.
Afterwards, as the wine flowed, all were invited to a lovely sponsored buffet in the hall below. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces attending. Indeed Sue Allen had driven from the other side of the island to support The Anglican Church, as reported in the Bulletin yesterday, is desperately in need of funds. Certainly, after a highly enjoyable evening (and learning that some of the singers are part of the Georgie Insull Choir), I shall be attending as many future such events as possible.
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