Elvis, Lady Gaga, McFly, Take That, Ed Sheeran, Snow Patrol, Bruno Mars. The list goes on and the songs keep coming. Anthony Horricks and Friends ‘Ultimate Cover Show’ was streamed live by North West Theatre Arts Company on 29th December. What a treat!James, Tempany, Anthony, Jade and Maria
NWTAC have a performing arts stage school with their own theatre and usually put on about 10 productions a year. The Covid situation didn’t so much hamper their plans for 2020 but squashed and stamped on them. When getting together wasn’t possible they turned to Zoom instead. Songs, lines, dance routines, staging etc., were learned while planned shows were rescheduled.
A hopeful September saw the show ‘Factory Fest’ performed to a small audience. The auditorium was adapted for a unique experience with waiter service to comply with social distancing rules. It was an ambitious achievement.
In October, Beth Singh, professional vocalist and NWTAC’s music director, took to the stage with a special concert accompanied by a live band and performers from the school. Both shows were brilliant.Then, following the second lockdown, the new harsher Tier 3 restrictions meant the theatre had to close to the public completely. It was devastating but, once more, they adapted.
Beth had successfully streamed her ‘lockdown live’ concerts from her own home during the summer so they got on and recorded an abridged version of ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and broadcast it on YouTube. Then, and with a full cast, streamed live from the theatre a fabulous ‘West End Up North’ concert.Anthony Horricks had appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and ‘West End Up North’. For the ‘Ultimate Cover Show’ he was joined on stage by James Burke, Tempany Windsor, Jade Hamer and Maria Collins.
Anthony grabbed the audience’s attention straight away with his opening cover of an Elvis classic. He went on to sing tracks by the Beatles, The Calling, Take That and, I kid you not, Lady Gaga along with many others.
James sang the Michael Buble track ‘Home’ beautifully. Tempany had ‘When I was your Man’, a Bruno Mars number with a twist, just perfect. Maria and Jade, both accomplished singers, did solos too and several duets were performed including Sam Smith’s ‘Lay me Down’.
It was an impressive mix with something to suit everyone.Between them they belted out over 20 hits and even popped back at the end for an encore. It was just brilliant and I’m so glad I got to watch it.
A few days later, NWTAC’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza saw 2021 in and they kissed good bye to one of the most challenging year’s they never expected to face.
The run up to Christmas is, of course, panto season. The theatre would have been packed to the rafters and rocking with families and children. But you haven’t missed out. Whilst Puss in Boots was ‘streamed’ on Christmas Eve, the live theatre version has only been postponed. All being well, it will be staged in the spring.
Details of future performances and ticket details can be found on NWTAC’s Facebook page by clicking here.
Information on all other aspects of the company, including the North West Stage School, theatre in education, theatre equipment hire and more, can be found on their website here.