Glittering gala for cherished hall

Charity show dancers Lois Hardy, Adele Barlow and Catherine Marshall in front of The Riley Smith Hall in Tadcaster.
Charity show dancers Lois Hardy, Adele Barlow and Catherine Marshall in front of The Riley Smith Hall in Tadcaster.

A GALA charity spectacular in Tadcaster next month will bring together more than 50 performers from York, Wetherby, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Tadcaster, Leeds, Guiseley, Keighley, Wakefield to name but a few!

This mix of different groups, companies and societies, some professional some amateur, are giving their time, talents and efforts for free for the concert on Friday, September 9.

The aim is to raise much needed funds for the restoration and upkeep of one of North Yorkshires best kept secrets, The Riley Smith Hall in Tadcaster.

This beautiful building was commissioned in 1924 by John Smith Brewery When it was put up for sale in 1992, local groups and local people banded together to preserve the building for the use and benefit of local people.

The show sees distinguished musical director Bev Jones LRAM ARCO MMUS coming out of retirement, to produce, write and arrange, and direct the event as a dedication to the memory of the gentleman, Geoff Pears, who ran the management of the hall for four decades until he died last year, handing over the reins to his grandaughter, Lucy.

At the request of the family, Bev has included all of Geoff’s favourite musicals including Les Miserables, Hairspray, Chicago, Joseph, Cats and more.

The night will also see a ten-piece show band playing live in support of a cause to many hearts in the entertainment scene,

The hall comprises a wonderful 400 seat theatre, with stage, stalls and balcony, and has a unique wooden sprung dance floor, the only to be found in North Yorkshire, making it the perfect venue for dances and weddings.

But it costs money to manage a building of this magnitude, and organisers hope to raise over £5000 for The Charitable Trust.

A true labour of love, ths show has been put together in an exciting and frantic four-week period, beginning in the furst week in August.

Among the many talented people gving their time for the sake of the cause are two important participants from Harrogate.

Angela Edwards is a professional choreographer who has worked with many Harrogate/Knaresborough societies. A singer/dancer in her own right, she has agreed to take to the stage as Reno from Anything Goes.

She has also choreographed a speciality tap routine written and arranged by Bev Jones, whom Angela has worked with previously at York Light Opera Company.

Andy Salter, who is the Musical Leader of the award-winning The Spirit of Harmony Barbershop Choir, and a keen ballroom dancer himself will join Bev and his company to sing some o fthe big band numbers.

Other local contributors include Brian Bennett, John Broadberry, Bryan Bull, Stan Dalton, Mike Edward, Alistair Gill, Ken Hulme, Chris Bennett, and Mike Tasker, who also perform with The Spirit of Harmony Barbershop Choir.

The remainder of the cast are a mix of pro and amateur performers, cast principals from Les Miserables , Crazy For You, Fame, Summer Holiday and West Side Story plus members from many different companies all over Yorkshire, including York Light Opera Company, York Musical Theatre Company, Leeds Musical Theatre Company and Tadcaster Theatre Company.

Bev Jones has a wealth of professional experience himself, with over 50 years in the business, starting out at The Minster School as Head Boy, singing at The Queens Coronation in 1953.

He has produced and directed 500 musical shows all over the country in the last 40 years, including York Theatre Royal, Bradford Alhambra, Leeds Grand Theatre and The Palace Manchester, performing live in the West End as a Singer/Pianist and working as Musical Advisor for The BBC and Yorkshire Televison on The Good Olde Days, Stars on Sunday, Junior Showtime and Saturday Night at The Palladium.

l Tickets are now on sale at £10 ( with concessions) for all three performances, on Friday, September 9 at 7.30pm and 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 10th September, and can be reserved on 01904 708825 or online at lesleyannjones@hotmail.co.uk or purchased on the door.