Children's charity boosted at Regent

Review of Children in Need Gala Night at the Ipswich Regent - Sunday Nov 4thHOSTED by Stewart White from BBC Look East, this was a real extravaganza of a night with the aim of launching this year's Children in Need and raising money in the process.

Children in Need Gala Night at the Ipswich Regent - Sunday Nov 4th

HOSTED by Stewart White from BBC Look East, this was a real extravaganza of a night with the aim of launching this year's Children in Need and raising money in the process.

Packed with stars and celebrities it promised to be an entertaining evening and it certainly did not disappoint.

All the guest acts had a local flavour starting with the Opera Babes - one half of the duo comes from Woodbridge - who opened the evening with a stirring rendition of The Pearl Fishers (made famous in the BA advert).

The evening continued with songs from Ipswich soul man Nate James, and singer/piano player Juliana Meyer who hails from Colchester, chat with Jim Magilton and Brian Gunn and comedy from Cambridge Footlights.

Surprise of the night was Louis de Berniers, better known as author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, coming on to play a similar instrument himself as he launched into El Condor Pasa. And he was very good. It emerged that he spends more time playing music than he does writing. You learn something new every day!

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We also had the delights of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel who rocked the evening forward and musical theatre diva Ruthie Henshall in the second half who sung a song 'If you believe', that had been specially written for a Children in Need evening by Don Black a few years ago.

And of course Pudsey Bear was there to oversee proceedings.

In between the acts, Stewart interviewed the guests and his easy manner and professionalism kept the evening flowing in spite of a few technical hitches.

Buckets had been placed in the foyer so that people could vote with their cash whether they wanted Stewart White to sing or not.

The yes vote won by about £400 so he (reluctantly!) treated us to a rendition of Mr Tambourine man that wasn't bad - but I wouldn't give the day job up just yet, Stewart!

Over £10,000 was raised on the night, and all the performers had contributed their time for free - so well done to everyone who organised, took part and donated.

Susan Hawkes

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