‘An Evening with the Phantom’ ….what a show it was. Guest starring Peter Karrie (“the World’s favourite Phantom”) and featuring the combined talents of Pukka Petites, Potentials and Plus, as well as the adult cast the show was a combination of song and dance from some of theatre’s best loved shows.
The evening opened with excerpts from “The Lion King” with Peter joining the children on stage for a duet of “Circle of Life” with Plus’s Hannah Gaskin. This was followed by “Can you feel the love tonight” with an impressive first performance from new ‘Plus’ Lucas as well as feature vocals from Katy, Claudia and Harriet.
The Petites then totally won over the audience with their “Jungle Book” section where they showed their flair for ‘boogie’ and brought the house down with their energetic performance…magic!
Next it was the turn of the ‘Plus’ kids with their “Fame” pieces. From the lilting melody of ‘Starmaker’, through the energetic dance routine to “Bring on tomorrow”, the children showed just what was achievable by rising through the Pukka ranks.
“Chicago” was the next offering. Delivered by the adult cast, this set kicked off with a smooth rendition of “Mr Cellophane” by Paul McCabe and was followed by an impressive performance of “All that Jazz” by the sultry Cerys Rock. Then a real treat for all the boys when the ladies took to the stage in their underwear for the saucy “Cell Block Tango”! Ooh ladies!
Next was “Annie” performed by the Potentials who were once again joined on stage by Peter, who sang (and danced) a duet with Lowri, our Annie for the evening.
Following the interval (where the sherbert straws were a big hit and Peter and Sarah were a rather amusing double act for the raffle!) we moved into the feature second half where “Phantom” and “Les Mis” were on the menu in what was a section devoted to the older ‘Plus’ and adult members of the cast.
Carmen and Peter started us off with the iconic Phantom theme then gave way to the rest of the cast who performed the colourful “Masquerade”. Then back to Carmen for the haunting “Think of me”, and the show stopping duet with Peter “All I ask of you”, which went down a storm with the audience, before Peter’s powerhouse performance of “Music of the night”.
And what a finish we were building to! “Les Miserables” is a particular favourite for many of us at Pukka, so we relish any chance to perform it, and to have Peter who played the role of Jean Valjean for over 3 years in London on stage as well, reprising that role, well…there was no doubt it was going to be special. And special it was from the minute the ‘Pluses’ stepped on stage for ‘At the end of the day’ through Gabby’s moving performance of “I dreamed a dream” to the rip roaring “Master of the house” (Peter has such a dirty laugh!), it was a rollercoaster of a ride. Ellie was wonderful for her solo of ‘Castle on a cloud”, followed by a fine performance from Duncan for the Javert solo “Stars” before Peter’s stirring and poignant “Bring him home”, a favourite with all “Les Mis” fans. For the finale, Peter led the cast in the rousing “do you hear the people sing” and by this time the audience was really on a high. But let’s face it, you couldn’t leave a performance of “Les Mis” without “One more day” and so following a standing ovation and cries for more we closed the show with a spine tingling and astounding performance of “One more day” that left everyone with a huge smile on their face and a lump in their throat. Congratulations to everyone involved.