EQUITY ENJOY CELEBRATIONS AT THE JUBILEE
As Equity members gathered at the Jubilee Social Club in Leeds, during the union’s Year of Variety, our managing editor Mark Ritchie dons his entertainer’s hat to join in with the fun. The first thing to report here is that what you read below is definitely not a review of the show. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, I have taken the decision that charity events will never be the subject of technical reviews here in UK Cabaret magazine. When performers are working for free, or not outwardly seeking work from their appearance, we feel that reviews are completely inappropriate. Secondly, I cannot report on a show that I didn’t actually see. The fact is that ‘Mark Ritchie left the building’ after my early spot in the show. Compere Harry Turnstyle is a familiar and welcome face at this event, which is organised every year by Equity official Valerie Mann. Harry kicked the show off with a cracking version of the old Manfred Mann hit, The Mighty Quinn. I was allotted the opening 25-minute spot and this was planned in advance, which was fortuitous, due to an urgent family situation that I had to go and deal with. I had not been on The Jubilee club stage for many a long year, for some reason. Regarding my own performance, you’d have to ask the audience. Following me on stage was the piano duo of Craig Michael and Rob Russell. This pair of ivory-ticklers hit the headlines recently, when they emerged victorious on one of the heats of one of the ghastly Simon Cowell talent vehicles. When they re-appeared in the next round, Craig was absent and Rob was all alone. It’s nice to know that the friends are now working together again, after what seems to me to be such a destructive and divisive episode in their careers. My informants tell me that later on in this glittering evening, Tony Wayne gave a highly professional short spot and Little Sam Lyons was on hand to complete the evening’s entertainment in her own inimitable style. Sandwiched in-between was an appearance from top of the bill attraction The Grumbleweeds. Original member Robin Colville and new member James Brandon have changed the dynamic of this act and the pair are enjoying much success. Such events are so important in terms of promoting the live cabaret scene and hats off to magician Keith Christie and balloon-model show Kit Capers and Co for creating the meet and greet entertainment. UK Cabaret will feature other such Equity events during 2017.