A few from the truly stunning line-up were unable to make it on the day, and Lee was nearly one of their number when an M25 closure put him in traffic hell. He missed soundcheck, the meet and greet, the first act... but he made it for the second, suited and booted and sounding glorious as he sang first 'Anthem', perhaps better than I have ever heard him sing it, then a song he has added to his set more recently, John Legend's beautiful ballad 'All of Me', which is fast becoming one of my favourites.
It goes without saying that Lee was very much a personal highlight, but he was one of many - it seems unfair to pick out one or two from such an incredible evening, but I will...
- I'll never tire of hearing Killian Donnelly sing 'Memphis Lives in Me' and with his departure from the show set for 4 July (see him before he leaves, really, just go!) as he moves on to yet another lead role in 'Kinky Boots', I treasured the opportunity to hear it again tonight
- Killian again, this time with Michael Xavier, with the fabulous and funny 'Agony' from Into the Woods
- Ben Forster with two startlingly different numbers, first 'World's Greatest Dad' from Elf the Musical (which I'm now looking forward even more to seeing at the Dominion next Christmas) and closing the first act with a powerful, intense 'Gethsemane'
- Fresh (remarkably so!) from his final performance in Miss Saigon the night before, Niall Sheehey with 'Why God Why' - he was brilliant in Saigon both in his usual track and as Chris and I very much look forward to hearing what's next for him
- I must give a nod also to the excellent band, led by Musical Director, Chris Hatt on piano, with Paul Saunders and James Mainwaring on reeds, Chris Gardiner on guitar, Nick Polley on drums and Fraser Snell on bass.
- I could go on, but with Hugh Maynard, Alex Gaumond, Jon Robyns, John Owen Jones, Oliver Tompsett, director Iain Stroughair and the lovely Louise herself all performing, I would have to wax lyrical about every single number to even remotely do justice to the talent before us. So I'll simply say that it was a total privilege to be there and I can't wait for the next one!
Congratulations and thanks to Caroline Maudlin, Chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council, and Louise for organising, and to everyone involved for a truly wonderful evening which raised £12,800 for a very worthy cause.
Thanks to the ever-lovely Phill Cowndley for allowing me to include a few of his gorgeous photos here:
Official photographs from the evening can be viewed and purchased at People Press (Keith Mayhew) with all proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Society. I also include below a couple of less formal shots from the camera phone of Mr Niall Sheehey which, along with this video shared by Hugh Maynard on Facebook, capture something of the euphoria both on and off stage at the end of this fabulous evening - apologies for the grinning idiot in the second ;-)
Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES
Last updated: 12 May 2015