Kerry Ellis - What a Triumph!
The club’s biggest fundraising event in its history came to a triumphant conclusion at the Apex Theatre, Bury St Edmuns, with a marvellous sellout concert by Stowmarket’s own musical sensation, Kerry Ellis.
The event was organised by the club to raise money for the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket. Proceeds from the concert, for which Kerry gave her services free, are likely to exceed £6,000, and the club has agreed to put further charitable funds towards the project so that the centre will benefit to the tune of about £10,000.
This will be used to fund a glass balustrade for the mezzanine floor and a system for providing disabled access to the stage.
“Not only has the concert raised a major sum for an important project in Stowmarket but it has generated considerable interest and publicity for the club,” said club president Tony Pickering. “Many members have helped, but the lion’s share of the credit must go to Tim Evans, whose original idea this was and who has worked tirelessly over the last few months to ensure that everything ran smoothly.”
The review of the concert in the East Anglian Daily Times is below:-
A stunning evening of virtuoso entertainment
West End superstar and Suffolk songstress Kerry Ellis was given a rousing welcome at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend as she staged her first professional concert in her home county.
The Stowmarket-born singer was back in Suffolk at the invitation of the Gipping Valley Rotary Club to raise funds for the John Peel Centre.
She was in fine voice, in fact it soared, and made for a wonderful demonstration of the clarity and fine acoustics of The Apex.
Backed by pianist/composer/arranger Craig Adams and a small band, Kerry gave a very different, very personal show. It was miles away from her Anthems show at the Royal Albert Hall last year.
Instead of selections from last year’s album, she treated local audiences to a mixture of her own favourite songs – everything from The Beatles, Adele and Katy Perry to Ed Sheeran and The Foo Fighters. It was like having a glorious human jukebox in the hall.
Mixed in with these personal favourites were songs taken from key moments in her career including I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady, the show where she moved from understudy to West End leading lady, I Dreamed A Dream from Les Misérables (she played Fantine having left We Will Rock You) and a dramatically reworked Defying Gravity from Wicked, which, although calmer than her version with Brian May, still allowed her voice to take flight.
Craig Adams did a wonderful job with the arrangements – making a diverse array of songs sound as if they were ‘of a piece’. Craig and Kerry also unveiled a new song that they had co-written For My Heart which comes from a new musical which is currently being developed.
Kerry also welcomed Bury-based choir The Voice Squad to back her on an amazing version of Amazing Grace and rock tenor Nathan James for a duet on Show Me Heaven.
But Kerry’s real ace card was her easy, conversational relationship with the audience – which was cemented when she dragged her reluctant brother Andrew up on stage for a duet.
It was a stunning evening of virtuoso entertainment and proof, if proof were needed, that Suffolk does have talent.