Forbes Lane

Last Night At The Proms Weston Super Mare Playhouse, August 24th 2013

THE Last Night of the Proms has become one of the great British musical traditions, there is nothing quite like it in the classical calendar.

With their Last Night At The Proms concert, the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, under conductor Anthony Kraus and presenter Mark Langley, gave us most of the familiar favourites performed with all the traditional gusto, the pomp and circumstance, and a veritable forest of Union Jacks.

The enterprising and very varied program had a tiptoe start with a less familiar Rossini overture ( Italian Girl in Algiers) which brought out some delightful woodwind playing and particularly in the Elgar marches the overall balance from the orchestra sounded well in the warm acoustics of the Playhouse.

The music included in the programme was not just of the home-grown jingoistic variety – there was a dash of Gershwin and Cole Porter and a generous helping of Italian opera. Some light classics attracted a murmured ripple of recognition as theme tunes from old radio shows.

Soloists Gillene Butterfield and Andrew Forbes Lane had the witty personalities needed to engage the audience – their vocal duets of a well-chosen medley of Abba songs and music from Oliver! were very well-received.

For their part the audience could hum along to the Dambusters March, whistle and clap along in traditional style to Sir Henry Wood’s Sailor’s Hornpipe. In contrast, an impressive performance of Nimrod, with spoken words from Richard II, was heard in rapt silence.

Purists might argue that it is dumbing down classical music to mix it with modern pop and include stories, recitations and jokes (however old) between the pieces, but if this imaginative programming attracts a wider audience, that can only be a good thing. A great tune will always be a great tune whether from a 19th century opera (La Donna e Mobile in Rigoletto) or a 20th century show (Oliver!).

The less formal atmosphere made this more of a fun concert show, ideal for a summer holiday evening at the seaside.


A Feast Of Gilbert And Sullivan, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, July 19th 2013

This show had a winning formula, with the 32-piece British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Kraus, and former singers of The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company performing favourites from all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

Soprano Yvonne Patrick, mezzo soprano Louise Crane, tenor Nicholas Sales, baritone Jeremy Peaker and bass Richard Woodall were outstanding as they did justice to Gilbert’s outlandish rhymes and Sullivan’s magical music.

For Woodall it was a triumphant return to his home town and he proved to be an imposing Mikado.

Songs were often interspersed with witty stories and anecdotes, with the comedic Peaker and engaging Woodall in their element as they delivered them.

It was a good mix which ensured an evening to remember for Gilbert and Sullivan fans.

The audience in the Congress were enthusiastic and were encouraged by the bubbly Peaker to sing along with him.

Forbes Lane

Last Night At The Proms - Shanklin Theatre Isle Of Wight, September 22nd 2013

September 22nd 2013

Shanklin Theatre
One of our many fantastic reviews from our Trip Advisor Review page

“An entirely magical evening!”

‘Last Night of the Proms’ was brilliant. Exquisite music, a wonderful repertoire and SO much fun. The audience really entered into the joy and exuberance of the Proms and contributed to the memorable evening. The theatre is great, the staff friendly and helpful. Such truly awesome entertainment that we want it over and over again!

Goulding Cond

Last Night At The Proms Eastbourne Congress , 6th October 2013

By Heather Flood »
Flag waving, silly hats, patriotic singing, witty banter and glorious music provided an uplifting experience at Last Night At The Proms at the Congress Theatre on Sunday.

This special concert celebrated many of 2013’s anniversaries, including the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, the 200th anniversary of Verdi and Wagner’s birth, the 150th birthday of the London Underground and 40 years since ABBA had their first hit.

The British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, under guest conductor Fraser Goulding and leader Ann Wilson, gave their usual high level of performance, as did international soloists Anna-Clare Monk and Andrew Forbes Lane.

Charming soprano Monk and talented tenor Forbes Lane were introduced by larger-than-life presenter Mark Langley, who rounded off his joke telling, poems and chat with an amusing rendition of Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

The British Philharmonic got the balance just right. The purists were treated to classics from Rossini, Verdi, Bizet and Novello, while modern music enthusiasts were well catered for with an ABBA medley and a concert selection from Oliver.

It was a joyous, fun-packed evening and the audience joined in enthusiastically with Land Of Hope And Glory, Rule Britannia, The Happy Wanderer, Jerusalem and many more.

Orchestra Lincoln 04

Last Night at the Proms - Darlington Civic Theatre 19th July 2013

Last Night of the Proms
Posted on July 21, 2013 by andybramfitt
No excuses for being proud to be British

Last night Darlington Civic hosted the Last Night of The Proms, a celebration of British composers, traditional classical music with addition of a few interesting renditions of Abba, showtunes and movie themes.

Most people will have seen the world famous LNOTP from the Albert Hall and this, albeit on a smaller scale, managed to capture all the pomp & ceremony. Ageless favourites including Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and the Selection of Sea Shanties were enthusiastically and energetically performed by the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra while the audience lapped up every possible opportunity to wave their Union Jacks, clap and of course sing. It was quite obvious that there is an expected degree of knowledge and etiquette when attending a ‘Last Night’ performance; the conductor (who for this show was the wonderfully energetic ’Lord’ Anthony Kraus) will play to the crowd, trying to keep them in time and at pace, the leading soloists will deliver their finale bedecked in Red, White & Blue and the audience will bring kazoos, whistles, bells and rattles to ensure their audio cues are hit with as much noise as possible. To this end, there is, for the uninitiated the need for a compare just to guide us along.

For this evening we had Gary Wilmot as the master of ceremonies who immediately gave the proceedings a wonderful air of fun, humour and cabaret; it is such a shame that we don’t see Gary on TV these days, there are none better at combining genuine humour, impeccable timing with a great singing voice – I had almost forgotten just how easy he makes things seem while clearly enjoying himself on stage. When you watch the usual TV drivel we are served up labelled as family entertainment there must be a vehicle somewhere to get Mr Wilmot back on our screens. Throughout the evening Gary interjected with telling facts, trivia and of course jokes (some new, most old but all were funny) all focussed on the theme of anniversaries. He also helped to keep the lead singers, the delightful Anna Clare Monk and the mischievous Andrew Forbes, in line as both were tempted to throw away the running order and just join in with the audience.

You don’t have to be a classical music buff to appreciate Last Night, nor do you have to be worldly wise in regards to traditional patriotism; all you need is to be able to enjoy a great evening of music, laughter and a sense of pride at being British.