Gala Concert in Aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
ON SUNDAY, March 2, 2014, stars of stage and screen will come together at the Queen’s Theatre for You’ll Never Walk Alone, a special one-night-only concert in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.
Tickets are now on sale from £32.50, with all proceeds going directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together 14 of the UK’s leading aid charities to raise money in order to quickly reach those in need.
The money raised will contribute to the ongoing need for emergency shelter, clean water and food as well as helping survivors rebuild their lives.
On November 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most intense tropical storms ever to make landfall anywhere in the world, struck the Philippines. Millions were affected by torrential rain, winds of over 140mph and flooding of up to 15 feet, devastating coastal areas.
Over 14 million people have had their lives torn apart, with approximately 590,000 homes completely destroyed and well over 4 million people forcibly displaced due to the destruction.
Promising an unforgettable evening of music and comedy and led by a cast of Britain’s brightest stars of the West End and beyond, You’ll Never Walk Alone will be an uplifting reminder of the importance of collaboration and the fact that theatre really can make a difference. The concert will also feature an ensemble of Filipino performers and a magnificent on stage band.
Casting so far includes: Julie Atherton (Avenue Q, The Last 5 Years), two time Olivier Award-winner Joanna Riding (Stephen Ward, The Pajama Game), three time Olivier Award nominee Hannah Waddingham (Kiss me Kate, Spamalot), Filipino born singer and quarter finalist on BBC’s The Voice Joseph Apostol, soon to play John in Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Miss Saigon, Hugh Maynard (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King), two time Olivier Award nominee Michael Xavier (The Sound of Music, The Pajama Game) and Filipino born classical pianist and named ‘One to Watch’ by The Independent Emmanuel Vass.
More names will be announced in the new year.
The event has been instigated by the UK based theatre Filipino community, many of whom moved to the United Kingdom in the 1990’s to take part in the original production of Miss Saigon, the worldwide smash-hit musical produced by British theatre impresario, Cameron Mackintosh, who said:
“The Philippines have been a special part of my life ever since Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and I first went there 25 years ago to cast the original production of Miss Saigon. As well as being an exceptionally talented nation, the people we have met are also warm, generous and good-hearted human beings who have become our friends the world over. The recent terrible natural disaster there has affected so many people and along with the international aid, I am only too happy to offer the use of the Queen’s Theatre for a fund raising performance led by stars of the Philippines and the West End to help gather as much money as possible for those in desperate need.”
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support for our Philippines Typhoon Appeal but even in that context the gala performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone promises to be a real highlight. It is wonderful to have a cast that includes so many Filipino performers as well as stars of the stage and screen. We are extremely grateful to the cast, crew, producer Paul Spicer and to Cameron Mackintosh and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres for their respective roles in bring together this wonderful event.”
Producer Paul Spicer said: “In such dire situations we often feel helpless, but through entertainment and celebration of the Filipino people’s resilience, we can make a difference. This will be a truly one-off event rooted in hope and inspired by the Filipino spirit and vivacity. Disasters like this may often seem a million miles away from our reality, but when a crisis occurs it affects humanity as a whole. By lending our efforts to this appeal, we are expressing loyalty not only to the people of the Philippines, but to humankind.”
You’ll Never Walk Alone is produced by Paul Spicer and Matt Firth for Stage Acts Productions with the kind support of Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.
Tickets: £90 (Gold Premium), £52.50, £42.50 and £32.50. To book, call the box office on +44 (0)844 482 5164 or visit www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/.