Chris Rees

Southampton Celebration Proms

A fantastic evening with over 350 performers on stage, celebrating Southampton and making people #SouthamptonProud

REVIEW: Southampton Celebration Proms, Mayflower Theatre

SEATED expectantly, the samba-esque drumming started, getting under the audience’s skin and starting toes tapping to the beat.

A few moments later the curtain rose to a stage packed with talented adults and youngsters, singing, playing and swaying and Robbie Williams’ words Let Me Entertain You belted out, setting the scene for the rest of the evening.

The show consisted of varied but flowing musical numbers, performed by local groups and accompanied by local musicians, interspaced with comperes selected as representatives of the projects and heritage that make Southampton what it is today.

They gave us a potted history of charity projects, the port and the hosting theatreand they celebrated the community. Southampton is not my hometown, but I felt part of something special.

There was a joyous feeling in the theatre, on and off stage. It felt like a celebration with friends.

Southampton Ukulele Jam had a folky feel, that made the vast theatre feel like an intimate venue.

Then we were treated to Sing Now Choir, followed by the talent of Lucy Hallett, with her rendition of “world in union”.

At the tender age of 14 she is one to watch out for, with her pure and stirring vocals.

Then Barbara Howells gave us a rousing finale with her strong soprano performance of Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, wrapped in a Union flag, with the audience on their feet, swaying and singing along.

Jenni Walker, a performer from the award winning Mayflower Theatre Summer Youth Project, sang with skill and passion and Karla Brown, Sam Gregory and Ryan Saunders had us happily walk 500 miles with them. The stage groaned with the number of groups and the weight of talent, as Alex Pope (Musical Director) waved his baton and we waved our flags – joined together.

I came away feeling proud to call Southampton my adoptive home.

Original article Daily Echo

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