Bede’s Deputy Director of Music Robert Scamardella reviews ‘Cabaret’
PUBLISHED: 13:07 04 December 2014
Bede’s students ‘in the spotlight’ as a culmination between the creative arts departments continues to see music at the very heart of life at Bede’s.
‘Wow. Amazing. Stupendous. Superb. Stylish’. These are just some of the words that made the iconic, and hugely popular, Bede’s Cabaret this year the wonderful occasion it really has proved to be.
‘Cabaret fever’ really does set in at the beginning of November: musical arrangements are written, dance steps are perfected, rehearsals abound around the school, catering and events management are working nearly round-the-clock to turn the Main Hall at Bede’s into a fabulous centre of creativity, music, dance and celebration. The Bede’s Cabaret is not just a celebration of the Arts, it is a celebration of life, of everything that Bede’s stands for: creativity, ambition, excellence and attention to detail.
Every year, tickets are increasingly hot: Cabaret sold out in a matter of hours, so much so, that the tiered seating was, for the very first time, opened to allow diners and concert-goers the opportunity to enjoy a sumptuous and bespoke picnic as they were entertained royally by the students at Bede’s.
Whilst the food is amazingly delicious, consisting of ham hock terrine, pan roasted chicken or goats’ cheese with smoked plum tomatoes, it is the music that is always outstandingly good. Last year, I wrote that the sky is the limit as far as Bede’s is concerned: more accurately, this year, quite simply, the students at Bede’s are capable of so much, of scaling the heights achievable at any school, anywhere.
As patrons entered the main hall, they were treated to a Cirque du Soleil-style pageant, where dancers glided around the room, with solo steps and statuesque brilliance: this was the pre-show show! As people supped on champagne, they craned their necks to witness a real barnstorming spectacle; piped music permeated the atmosphere to transport everyone to another world.
The evening opened with a show-stopper: ‘One Night Only’ sung by the Jazz choir, accompanied by the cabaret concert band, with choreography provided by the Legat dancers. This had the audience enthralled as the company strutted their stuff. True to the ‘in the spotlight’ theme, students Louis Muston, Joseph Robson and Alice Potter were the compères for the evening and introduced each and every item with humour, passion and a sense of occasion.
The orchestra gave splendid renditions of a huge variety: Gloria Estefan’s ‘Let’s Get Loud’, inspired the Latin fusion lovers in the audience, followed by a magical carpet ride to Greece where the fabulous Anna Moody, accompanied by her sister Ruby Moody, Ivan Friedman and Panagiotis-Giannaris Kalomenopoulous on the mandolin transported us to the sunny shores of Greece, performing ‘Misirlou’ from the film ‘Pulp Fiction’. A feast for the senses this really was.
The second concert featured the virtuosic Legat dancers in ‘Oh My God You Guys’ from the film ‘Legally Blonde’ which led us to the famous Bede’s Jazz band in ‘Take Five’, ensuring that our feet were firmly tapping on the floor! The ladies and gentlemen of Crossways House, fresh from their win in the ‘small choir’ category at the House Music competition were invited to re-appear and sing their winning entry. Never before has the school enjoyed such variety of music, nor celebrated the vast talents of such a cross-section of the school. Surely, there can be no other form of event in the Arts calendar that can encompass so many pupils performing on stage together and enjoying every moment. The second concert ended with James Cuxson’s brilliantly funky rendition of ‘Chromazone’ before the Jazz choir and Legat Dancers treated us to ‘Candyman’, putting us in the mood for a mouth-watering pudding of chocolate and salted caramel torte, with crème anglaise.
The third concert made the evening reach an incredible crescendo: a brilliant young Jazz pianist, Oliver Hutchinson, showcased his wonderful improvisatory skills in Roy Hilton’s ‘Bede’s Boogie’ followed by Hannah Roberts, Martha Reynolds and Dulcie Calvert’s rendition of the Andrews Sisters’ ‘In The Mood’, taking us back to the glorious Glenn Miller era. The dance floor was declared open as people flocked to dance the night away.
The evening was rounded off by the Bede’s Singers performing Mika’s ‘Happy Ending’ and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ which had the entire hall on the dance floor and leaving us all ready to face the misty, damp and cold night outside.
At Bede’s, they know how to put on a spectacular show: clearly, it’s the place to be where the creative Arts are concerned.
The Director of Music, Louise Morris, rounded the evening off by thanking the incredible team behind Cabaret: there really is no other event that requires such a variety of people coming together in a great show of brilliance and creativity.