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Lymm Vaudeville Show raises £10,000 for Grassroots Appeal

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THE annual Lymm Vaudeville Show once again delivered a night of slapstick comedy and entertainment, raising over £10,000 for Lymm Rugby Club’s Grassroots Appeal.

A standing ovation, cries of ‘more, more, more’ and shouts of ‘we love it’ brought the show created by director Simon Plumb to a close.

A very messy special guest appearance by former TV star Matthew Corbett, with Sooty, was one of many highlights of an entertaining evening.

Unlike the 2018 show, which was themed around The Greatest Showman, there was no hook as such for the 2019 edition. What all the show’s 23 acts – from the comedy sketches to the big chorus numbers – had in common, however, was the ability to impact the audience.

There were acts that had the audience folded over in laughter. The first of these came early on in the running order when Paul Rigby came on stage as Tommy Cooper. The rapid fire of one-liners such as ‘Exit signs; they’re on their way out’ and ‘I found my wife dead in the washing machine; at least she died in comfort’ left some members of the audience struggling to catch their breath between belly laughs.

As did the Geography Teacher sketch, in which Paul Maguire attempted to give the audience a geography lesson by drinking his way through a back bar’s worth of spirits from around the world. And the Del and Rodney sketch by Steve Roe and Mark Hesketh.

Then there were those acts that widened the eyes. Of particular note was Shallow – the song from the Lady Gaga film A Star is Born that was sung by Hayley Cornelia and Brian Hope and accompanied by a lyrical contemporary dance performance by Alicia Graham and Sophie Worton. And a rendition of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, performed by the whole cast, that saw the audience reaching for their phones in order to wave the flashlights around in the air like lighters at a concert.

Plus, in classic vaudeville spirit, there were those acts that got the audience clapping, whistling and finger-clicking. These included a Rat Pack medley by Keith Broadbent, Brian Hope and Steve Rule; of which Mack the Knife animated the audience especially. And the pre-interval performance of Proud Mary, which got the audience stamping their feet so hard it might have felt like a land tremor to those residents of Lymm who were not attending the show.

No review of the 2019 Vaudeville Show can be complete without a mention of the backstage crew. The behind the scenes team is the glue that holds any performance together. However, the 2019 Vaudeville might not have been able to carry on this year without their extra effort.

After a scene by Paul Maguire and special guest performer Matthew Corbett – with Sooty – swamped the stage with a little more porridge, treacle, shaving foam and fake blood than had been rehearsed, technical director John Cartwright, backstage coordinator Yvonne Halford, and choreographer Jan Halloran got down on hands and knees for an emergency clean up operation while show director Simon Plumb distracted the crowd with an impromptu audience sing along of Delilah.

The official show line-up ended with a pyrotechnic-infused medley of Queen songs. The ultimate song, We are the Champions, particularly fitting, because it certainly was a champion effort from the cast, crew and everyone involved in bringing Lymm Vaudeville to life for another year.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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