A WEST END CHRISTMAS CONCERT raises £12,000 for the Make A Difference Trust

Russell GrantThe 12th Annual ‘A West End Christmas’, produced by Theatre MAD in aid of The make A Difference Trust took place on Sunday 6th December at St Pauls Covent Garden.  A sparkling line-up of stars and song, raised more than £12,000

Featuring some of the West End’s top musicals including The Phantom of The Opera, Wicked, Matilda, and Miss Saigon, the show opened with West End Kids’ homage to the Tiller Girls, a high-kicking routine to We Need A Little Christmas.

There were three songs written especially for the occasion, two by Anderson and Petty and one by Kansley and Lidert, which were perfectly sung by Kieran Brown, Emma Hatton, and The M.T.A and Carolyn Maitland.

With her cool jazz band, Joanna Strand did a Christmas Waltz that had the audience swaying, and Summer Strallen sang a beautiful rendition of The Christmas Song with Oliver Ormson. Sabrina Aloueche and Aaron Sidwell rocked the church, while Ross William Wild sang and played guitar, accompanied by piano and harp, to give a moving version of Hallelujah.

Showstoppers! wowed with their incredible improvisation, and the Blues Brothers donned their shades and shook their tail feathers with the audience clapping along. You can’t keep a good show down, and some of the cast of The Commitments came together to give a hand-clapping rendition of Fairy Tale of New York.

The fabulous piano playing and comedy chat of Worbey and Farrell got the second act off to a fabulous start. The lovely Anton Stephans promised he’d “Be home for Christmas” and Maria Kesselman’s voice soared as she sang The Most Wonderful Birthday of All.

Readings by Michael Pennington, Janie Dee and Michelle Collins complemented the songs beautifully.

Having jumped on the underground, directly from their Sunday show, the cast of In The Heights arrived to close the show. With percussion, brass, guitar and drums they rounded the evening off with a roof-raising, toe-tapping Latin American number Noche De Pas, which was anything but silent.

Originally founded as West End Cares in 1990 and later becoming Theatrecares, The Make A Difference Trust (www.madtrust.org.uk), raises funds for HIV and AIDS Projects that raise awareness and provide care, support and education in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo: Darren Bell