Young talent proves Life is a Cabaret'

PUBLISHED: 11:03 18 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:51 17 June 2010

A wealth of youthful talent on display in the excellent concert Life is a Cabaret at St Francis Church Hall made for a magnificent and memorable evening which raised money for Niki Campbell s Laine Arts Theatre Fund.

A wealth of youthful talent on display in the excellent concert Life is a Cabaret at St Francis Church Hall made for a magnificent and memorable evening which raised money for Niki Campbell's Laine Arts Theatre Fund.

Niki received warm applause when the curtains opened and she gave us a vibrant and exciting performance of Life is Cabaret to set a high standard for the evening.

She was joined by Ben Callon for a humorous and enjoyable rendering of Money makes the world go round.

Brilliant musician Toby Williams provided excellent accompaniment for these pieces, then showed more of his considerable talents with his own composition Goodnight, goodnight and then Elton John's Someone save by life tonight.

Accompanying herself on the guitar, Hannah Hulin delighted the audience with three pieces: Paranoid, Warwick Avenue and No time. This was followed by sensational sisters Sam and Jess Morris joining with Myles Edwards (who also acted as compere for the evening) in a lively rendering of Headlong from We will rock you.

More quality singing came from Niki and her sister Lori with Where are you going?, then Lori charmed us with a solo James and Eve. Lori had many people reaching for their handkerchiefs when she sang a most moving and emotional tribute to her younger sister Niki which she had written the night before. The first half came to an end with Niki, looking whimsical in white, captivating us with a graceful dance Schindler's List.

Act two got off to a wonderful start when Niki and Lori were joined by their mother, Vicki, in Hopelessly devoted to you, followed by scintillating dance duet by the marvellous Morris sisters in contrasting costumes combining ballet and hip-hop in an exciting and intriguing manner.

The amazing Toby Williams accompanied Niki in an engaging Don't rain on my parade and then impressed us with two more solos. His accompaniment for Niki's Summertime was fabulous, together they created just the right mood with imaginative changes of tempo.

Great entertainment value came from Vicki Campbell with Tell me it's not true and Myles Edwards and Jess Morris with an atmospheric Phantom of the Opera.

Vicki Campbell failed to convince us she was a fading star amongst rising stars and, once again, proved herself a shining star with a mesmeric solo Everything is as if we never said goodbye from Sunset Boulevard.

She then led the whole company in a spine-chilling finale Circle of Life.

Despite what letter writers to the Sidmouth Herald and OFSTED inspectors may think, Sidmouth can take pride in many of its young people. I hope Niki continues to raise money for her time at the Laines. I wish Niki and her fellow performers (most of them former Sidmouth College pupils) rich and rewarding careers.

Roger Simmonds

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