At the core of every musical theatre fan lies a deep-rooted love of music. I certainly have it. My CD collection is vast and richly variant and I simply couldn’t imagine a life without music in it. I can’t say that I’m overly enthusiastic about the current uninspired offerings from the pop chart, but whatever my mood, I can always find solace in the world of musical theatre. Of course, there’s nothing quite like the experience of live performance, which is why I try to make it into the West End to take in a show as often as I can: I always leave feeling enriched in some way.
It doesn’t always take a fully-staged West End production to satisfy that musical need however. The far more stripped-down and intimate cabaret/concert is just as soothing to the soul. I’ve been to some fantastic ones, including Giggin4Good back in February of this year which, in what will be pleasing news to many fellow music lovers, has just announced its one-night-only return to town in October.
The Giggin4Good Autumn Showcase will once again take place at The Actors Church in Covent Garden on Sunday 7th October 2012, bringing its audience a wildly enjoyable evening of both musical theatre and pop songs, all performed by an exceptionally wonderful line-up of West End talent. The array of stars includes both G4G repeat-attenders, such as the incredible Alexia Khadime (Les Miserables, Wicked), and first-timers, such as Broadway sensation Sarah Galbraith (Phantom, The Little Mermaid) who is all set to make her way across the pond for her G4G debut. Former Wicked star Dianne Pilkington will also be there with husband Jean-Claude Pelletier to perform a duet together. The rest of the G4G cast include: Sabrina Aloueche, Matthew Barrow, Emily Booth, David Brewis, Rosie Clarkson, Lucyelle Cliffe, Joseph Connor, Matthew Croke, Jonathan Eio, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Carolyn Maitland, Laura Mansell, Shaun McCourt, Twinnie Lee Moore, Kira Morsley, Rosa O’Reilly, George Ure, Ben Vivian Jones and Ziggie Skyward.
Following the popular reception from the previous showcase, there will once again be a special place on the G4G stage for the promotion of new writing. In February, the cast of Christopher J. Orton and Robert Gould’s My Land’s Shore performed a selection of songs from the new Welsh musical, which is well on the road towards a fully-stage production. In October, My Land’s Shore is set to make its second appearance in the form of a previously unheard song, accompanied by several numbers from another Orton/Gould musical, Based On A True Story. Orton will be there to perform as part of the G4G cast too, as well as fellow new writers Joe Sterling and Chris Passey, who will be presenting some of their new work too. Sterling and Passey have both released albums of their original songs (Somewhere in my Mind – The Songs of Joe Sterling & Self Taught, Still Learning – The Music of Chris Passey) and were featured songwriters in the SimG Productions cabaret at The Battersea Barge earlier this year.
Under the musical direction of Huw Evans, this is the third such event from the Giggin4Good team, comprised of Emma Howe, Karen Howe and Hayley Guild. Having seen first-hand the marvellous work that Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital does, the three children’s nannies felt strongly that: “We wanted to give something back to this magical place and as keen theatre-goers who have formed relationships with performers, it made sense to join forces and produce Giggin4Good!” They organised the first G4G in July 2011 in support of the cause and it has exploded into a highly popular recurring event, with all funds raised going to the hospital’s Neurology Department (treating children with complex brain conditions).
Having attended the last Giggin4Good showcase in February, I know what a delightful experience it was and fully intend to return in October. The chance to enjoy a wonderful evening of music performed by some of the West End’s brightest stars, all while helping out a very deserving cause – well, that’s just music to the ears, isn’t it?
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Giggin4Good takes place at The Actors Church, Covent Garden on Sunday 7th October 2012, 7.00pm.
Thursday 20th September 2012