Event Review: Cabaret 2018


Thursday 29, Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December saw the return of Bede’s Senior School’s annual Cabaret event: a spectacle of music, dance and drama, which once again showcased our pupils’ extraordinary talents on the stage and behind the scenes. 


Last week, the Sports Hall at Bede’s Senior School in Upper Dicker was transformed into an elegant dinner-and-dance concert venue. Guests – including pupils, families, staff and alumni – were treated to performances by Bede’s dramatists on arrival, with the theme of ‘Musicals’ setting the scene for what was to be an incredible evening of show-stopping performances.


The evening was seamlessly compèred by Echo Abraham, Max Mason, Grace Stannard and Freddie Tuson, who entertained the audience with kind introductions and witty interludes throughout.


The first Concert’s opening number saw the Cabaret Singers (with solos from Meghan Longden and Will Hopkins), Cabaret Orchestra and Legat Dancers join forces for a rendition of ‘This Is The Greatest Show’ from well-loved modern musical, The Greatest Showman. This was a spectacle of colour and sound, which provided an extremely high benchmark for the next performances.


What followed most certainly didn’t disappoint. The next few songs featured a pitch-perfect James Bond medley, courtesy of the Cabaret Orchestra; an operatic performance of ‘Waltz Of My Heart by Head of School Imogen Lock, beautifully complemented by an elegant waltz from the Legat Dancers; and a haunting acoustic version of ‘Bang Bang’ by Chloe Rayner and Matthew Grant.


The audience was then treated to the Legat Dancers’ exquisite ballet piece, ‘Serenade’, followed by the Bede’s Barbershop’s first performance of the evening: a powerful rendition of ‘Memory’ from Cats The Musical. Finishing off the first Concert, we welcomed the Lower Sixth BTEC Band for a harmonious rendition of Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’, joined by a modern dance performed impeccably by the Legat Dancers.


After a short break to eat the delicious main course, the second Concert opened with a tour de force performance of a medley from ‘Les Misérables’, performed with rousing energy by The Cabaret Singers (with solos from Flossie Wilson, Jess Frisby, Megan Hume, Evan Nayler and Anoushka Beardshaw).


Next, we welcomed Daisy Noton to the stage, who wowed the audience with her outstanding flute solo of the notoriously difficult ‘Carnival of Venice’; this was a magnificent performance for a musician yet to take her GCSEs! The Legat Dancers accompanied the music with whimsical folk choreography, performed, as ever, with accurate precision and poise.


Next up were some genuine showstoppers. The Cabaret Concert Band (with soloists Timothy Scott-Rutt, Joe Marks and Tom Harrison) and The Jazz Choir featuring Rosa Marks, Ksenia Reimchen, Charlotte Webb, Imogen Lock, Meghan Longden and Lilli Longden, performed an upbeat rendition of ‘One Night Only’ from the musical Dreamgirls, before Will Hopkins showcased his brilliantly powerful vocals in the jazz rendition of ‘Wonderwall’ (seamlessly accompanied by The Jazz Band). The Cabaret Concert Band then wowed with their harmonious Chicago The Musical medley, and Rosa Marks delivered a beautiful, emotive solo performance of ‘How Could I Ever Know’ from The Secret Garden.


Jazz fans in the audience (of which there were many) then enjoyed technically brilliant renditions of the much-loved classics ‘Birdland’ and ‘Sidewinder’, performed impeccably by the Jazz Band.


Next came Amber Giles’ stunning performance of the second The Greatest Showman song of the evening, ‘Never Enough’. The ballad was followed by an upbeat rendition of ‘Hey Ya!’ by the Upper Sixth BTEC Band, accompanied by humorous choreography courtesy of the Upper Sixth Legat Dancers.


Sisters Meghan and Lili Longden then took to the stage to perform a powerful and emotive rendition of ‘For Good’ from one of the world’s most loved musicals, Wicked. For the final performance of the second Concert, The Jazz Choir, Cabaret Concert Band and Bede’s Barbershop collaborated in their epic performance of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Special mention must go to the three guitar soloists, each of whom performed on one of the three nights: Tom Adams, Oscar Fowler and Matthew Grant.


Following a delicious pudding and coffee break, Concert 3 opened with Jan Apolin and The Jazz Band’s smooth rendition of ‘Come Fly With Me’. Following this came the announcement that the dancefloor was now open for the audience, with the rest of the Concert providing the perfect soundtrack to dance the night away.


First up was Dancing Queen, admirably performed by The Cabaret Concert Band and The Jazz Choir; then came a beautiful solo performance of ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ by Grace Stannard; followed by The Cabaret Singers’ upbeat rendition of ‘I’m Still Standing’ with solos from Flossie Wilson and Megan Hume.


Next, The Jazz Choir once again performed harmonious interpretations of well-known songs – this time ‘Best Of Earth, Wind and Fire’ and ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’. This was followed by a melodious swing version of ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ by Amber Gott (also one of our Legat Dancers), Charlotte Webb and Ksenia Reimchen. The Concert ended with a stirring performance of ‘Higher and Higher’ courtesy of The Jazz Choir and Jazz Band.


However, the evening was far from over! Following Concert 3, the Upper Sixth BTEC band took to the stage to keep the audience dancing with their fantastic renditions of modern pop classics, including ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’.


A huge thank you must go to Chris Prescott, of U2M, and Steve Hopkins for making the hall look and sound a million dollars; Alexander Bloch for the wonderful visuals; our fabulous caterers, Holroyd Howe and the whole Bede’s team for making Cabaret such a continuing and resounding success.


We cannot be more proud of our pupils for their dedication and commitment to delivering their very best performances possible, both on and off the stage. Very well done to all!

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