An abundance of music, mirth and variety in the form of the John Mann Music Show entertained a near-capacity audience at The Lights in a special ‘bonus’ production staged recently by the Weyhill Electronic Organ Society. The star of the show, John Mann, was ably assisted on the night by his friend and versatile organist, Iain Flitcroft.
John moved effortlessly from organ to piano throughout the evening and his ‘Songs from the Shows’ selection allowed his comedic talent to shine with a one-man/one-woman solo vocal duet, aided only by a not too subtle change of hats! – and, following a quick change at the rear of the stage, he became Fagin (from Oliver) to explain that he was Reviewing The Situation.
Iain was welcomed on stage to perform a couple of pieces, before John returned to join in with a trio of duets … and the first half had reached its conclusion, almost unnoticed.
The audience returned to their seats after the interval to face an empty stage; the artistes were nowhere to be seen – but then, descending the steps from the rear of the auditorium were Sissy and Ada (or rather John and Iain, reviving the parts of Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough). In any event, confusion and chaos followed as John (intentionally?) forgot his lines and created even more laughter than perhaps was anticipated.
John then proceeded to prove – not that any proof was needed – what a talented pianist he is, with a delightful selection, including Debussy’s beautiful Clair de Lune, performed on the Theatre’s grand piano and Iain continued the entertainment by performing a Swing medley.
Suddenly, another ‘visitor’ was announced … it was Mr Pastry! Of course, it was John once again, dancing the light fantastic to The Lancers … yet another facet of the man’s many talents for the audience to absorb! At the end of this caper, Mr Pastry reverted back to Mr Mann and joined Iain as the two organs combined to provide a ‘sing-along’ finale.
There was a brief encore before the two players took their leave of a most appreciative and satisfied audience … and so a truly entertaining musical variety show had come to an end, having provided the kind of entertainment that is so rarely seen today. The theatre was an ideal setting for such a show and the lighting effects served to make the very best of the planning that had gone into the programme.
Once again, the Society’s reputation for providing top class entertainment was enhanced and, with a few more concerts being staged at The Lights in the coming months, it is hoped that the level of support will be maintained.
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