This 'one night only' charity concert at the Actors Church (St Paul's), Covent Garden on Sunday 7 June was produced and presented by Chris Mitchell and Duncan Heather to raise both awareness and much-needed funds for research into inflammatory bowel disease, of which they both have personal experience.
Two charities benefited from the proceeds from the concert - Crohn's and Colitis UK and the St Mark's Hospital Foundation - despite its small size, St Mark's is the leading specialist bowel disease hospital in the world. Their head of research (and Chris' surgeon), Mr Omar Faiz, was there to speak briefly of the work of St Mark's. He also reflected on the great privilege of being able to watch such a wonderful array of talented performers at work, 'up close' in this beautiful venue - I couldn't agree more. You can still contribute to the cause at the event's JustGiving page.
The line-up was initially created from among the organisers' friends and the colleagues they had worked with over the years, but gained its own momentum as word of the event spread and people contacted them to offer their time. In Lee's case, the connection was with Duncan Heather and goes back a long way - to that infamous Portsmouth Bilbao cruise ferry which was Lee's first professional job!
Lee was joined on the bill by both established stars and emerging talent. Some, such as Daniel Boys, Oliver Tompsett, Sabrina Aloueche, Charlotte Jaconelli and Jonathan Ansell were already well known to me and to most in the audience, others I heard for the first time, including (but not limited to!) Aimee Atkinson, Zyrah and, all the way from Ireland, Glenn Murphy and Ronan Scolard (look them up on YouTube!). Together they presented an outstanding evening's entertainment. Special mention too to co-producer Chris Mitchell, singing in public for the first time since he became ill some 18 months ago, who brought a tear to many eyes with his heart-felt rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
Lee sang two numbers in the first half (making his regular Sunday night dash back to Cardiff as the second half played out), the acoustics of the church lending a very special quality to his glorious voice for the beautiful John Legend ballad 'All of Me' and the stirring 'Anthem' from Chess. With just five weeks until his 2015 tour kicks off (and three until the sold out warm-up gigs at London's Pheasantry, it's great to hear Lee in such fantastic form.
The photo (above) tweeted by Jonathan Ansell, shows the beauty of the venue and my thanks, as always, to the lovely Phill from Phill Cowndley Photography for permission to share below some of his gorgeous photos of Lee, from both the afternoon's rehearsal and the show itself (keep an eye on his website for more photos from the concert and please don't re-publish without his permission).
See Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) at - CONCERT DATES
Last updated: 9 June 2015