‘Impressive’ artists perform during evening of jazz and cabaret at Norwich Playhouse

The Norwich Playhouse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich Playhouse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Sixteen years ago, Chris Bailey decided to put on a 'one-off' charity show to raise money for cancer charities, in the wake of two members of his immediate family being afflicted by the disease.

The fact that these shows are still running is hardly surprising, given the professionalism on show and the public appeal of a highly just cause.

Mr Bailey has spent many years promoting show business events and, in that time, has garnered an impressive address book. Thus he is able to call on artists, all of whom give their time to support two charities – Breast Cancer Now and Keeping Abreast.

Sponsored again by Newsmakers, this year's show was based around the Jonathan Wyatt Big Band, which not only played several much-loved big band classics but backed the visiting singers.

Lee Gibson, who has graced seven of these shows, is a singer of rare quality with expert control of dynamics and lyrical interpretation. Gary Winter, another keen supporter, is obviously a fan of Harry Connick Jnr and Michael Buble; while Norfolk's own Olly Day never gives less than top value with his amusing interaction with the audience and his Sinatra-styled vocals.

The Moonglow Sisters gave us the intricate harmonies and swing style of The Andrews Sisters.

This year also saw two young performers given a chance to shine. Accompanied on piano by Simon Brown, Alice Farrow, just 13, gave an assured performance of On My Own, from Les Miserables.

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And in 16 year old Kayleigh Gare, we had a glimpse of a real talent in the making as she performed That Old Black Magic with the Wyatt Band. It's obvious she has genuine musical ability and I can only hope that she will ignore calls for her to head in The X-Factor direction.

Finally, words of praise for the JWBB. This highly professional and well-drilled ensemble is celebrating 30 years in the business. Such an achievement ought to make the band worthy of consideration for a slot in the Norfolk and Norwich Festival... But I'm not holding my breath.