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Review of R&D Community Choir 10th Anniversay Gala Concert at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

...and on the seventh day I sat for the fourth night in those seven days in a Royal Theatre seat and watched something I hadn't even seen live before. Its quite clear that Royal & Derngate have spoiled me this week with their variety. Saturday saw storytelling, Monday saw physical theatre with mime, Thursday saw stand up and on the final night it was this show, a very much more homegrown affair.

The Royal & Derngate Community Choir celebrated its 10th anniversary in glorious style with a gala of epic Last Night Of The Proms proportions in which no one appeared to want to go home. I didn't really either (although watching the England rugby game till near 1am was a bit straining), as it was a quite glorious evening of powerful, bone shaking, neck hair lifting proportions. It was the first time I had seen the choir in a full show, having previously seen them in the occasional warm ups that they do in the foyer (the reason I was at this show really).

During the gala I was impressed with the variety of songs they covered, from traditional classics, to very modern numbers via at least one (not certain how many) self created ones. During the evening many took turns in the spotlight, all excellent, some exceptional. The pick of them for me were Jenna Cox, Anna-Marie Johnson, Lisa Rowley and the constantly blushing and continuously teased Kevin Aird. Purely my picks as like I say they were all great. The best of the tunes performed for me were River Deep Mountain High, Unforgettable and my modern favourite Rather Be. Also a highlight was the obligatory Happy and fulfilled the occasional need of the crowd to rise and clap their hands.

The only real sour note of the evening for me was the special guest, who to me was not very special at all. An apparent star of the past, and well received by those that knew who she was, but for the rest of us a touch bewildering. Not to say that there was anything wrong with the singing, more the antics. Downright bizarre at times, and for me a touch inappropriate, especially with the age of some of them present. It was for me an excruciating fifteen minutes, and I was most certainly not the only one who felt it. However this was a small part just before the interval where the true stars were missing. They were promptly back in the second half and the guest was nowhere to be seen.

A superb evening, most excellently presented by choir director Gareth Fuller and an exceptional lineup of talent on display. A highlight amoung many highlights this week at Royal & Derngate.

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Performance reviewed: Friday 6th February, 2015 at the Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton.

The Royal & Derngate Community Choir 10th Anniversary Gala Concert was a one-off event performed at the Royal & Derngate (Royal) on Friday 6th February, 2015. Details of the choir can be found here: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/GetInvolved/Community/Choir/ or followed on Twitter @RDCCperformers or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RDCCperformers

For further details about the Royal & Derngate visit their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

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