Event Review: Cabaret 2013

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The name's Cabaret. Bede's Cabaret.

If you were fortunate enough to obtain hotly-anticipated tickets for the social event of the year you would have been enchanted by an evening of sheer quality.

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As the title of this review suggests, the theme was everything to do with film: from James Bond to Black SwanReservoir Dogs to The Aristocats. Building on the phenomenal success of previous years' Cabaret concerts, well over one hundred talented pupils, from dancers to musicians and dramatists, were involved for well over ten weeks of preparation and rehearsal. And what an evening it was!

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Patrons entered the Bede's Sports Complex greeted by music of John Williams whilst enjoying a sumptuous starter of gravlax and white asparagus. The table settings were of legendary style and design: brilliant white candles glistened in the half-light, the air tinged with a smoky sheen that transported everyone to a different world. Chandeliers dangled which had everyone entering the hall with a dropped jaw.

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It was, quite simply, stunning.

Everyone, including students, came dressed for the occasion: as soon as the live music started, the audience knew that this was going to be a very special evening indeed. The orchestra struck up with the James Bond Medley, playing the famous ostinato bass line - a particularly familiar refrain.

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The tenor of this year's Cabaret was very much to celebrate the students: indeed, two gifted student actors were compéres for the night and introduced the musical items with verve and style, as well as offering their own impromptu moments of subtle humour.

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It would be invidious to mention particular soloists or items, as every performance, genuinely, was of stunning quality. Who could forget Sian Walsh's hauntingly beautiful 'Ave Maria' from The Great Caruso, or Anna Moody's virtuosic feat in Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake Overture', itself the backdrop to much of 'Nina's Dream'?

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Or, who indeed could forget Georgia-Mae Ellis's world class performance of 'Don't Rain On My Parade' from the motion picture, Funny Girl?

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All genres of films were celebrated: noir themes such as 'Little Green Bag', the atmospheric opening title music to Reservoir Dogs to 'Mamma Mia' from the Abba-inspired picture of the same title.

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Many of the musical items were accompanied by the stunning jazz band and illustrated in choreography by the wonderful Legat artists: what a feast for the senses.

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The end of the evening finished in true style: the dance floor was declared open and 500 people took to their feet and danced the night away, accompanied by Josie McNamara singing 'Street Life' from Jackie Brown and Higher and Higher from Ghostbusters 2 performed by the Bede's Singers.

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At the end of the evening, sincere thanks were given by Louise Morris, Director of Music, to all the staff that facilitated the evening: the sound and lighting crew, Roy Hilton for his wonderful musical arrangements and, finally and most importantly, to the extremely talented young pupils who make Bede's Senior School the wonderful place it really is.

The sky is the limit, as far as they are concerned.

Robert Scamardella

Deputy Director of Music

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