It was an enormous privilege to open the West End Proms at Lytham Festival, one of the most exciting music festivals of the summer. Having hosted Bryan Adams the night before, the stage was reset to welcome an astonishing West End line-up: Jo Appleby, Collabro, Ruthie Henshall, Jon Lee, Ramin Karimloo, Jodie Prenger, Lea Salonga, Lucie-Mae Sumner and Claire Sweeney.
What a day it turned out to be – extremely high winds meant that all proceedings were moved forward by an hour, with the show beginning earlier than originally advertised. Word reached all ticketholders in time, however, and the audience was packed with happy festivalgoers armed with champagne buckets and picnic tables.
Ferris & Milnes had a half hour slot, during which we performed some of our favourite material – we opened with ‘31 West End Musicals In Under 10 Minutes’, noting a number of young musical theatre fans at the front singing along with us, word perfect, to all the show tunes! Dominic then played his showstopping piano solo ‘Autumn Leaves’, which was followed by Martin’s falsetto ‘Italian Street Song’ (and it was great to see a number from Naughty Marietta going down so well in a show featuring so many current West End and Broadway hits!). Then it was our duet ‘I Believe’, closing with our West Side Story mashup and ‘Show Biz’ medley of MGM musical hits. Stiofan O’Doherty of Samuel Black Photography was once again present taking some brilliant production shots.
There then followed a fabulous parade of hits from the brilliant line-up of West End stars … but half way through act one the show sadly had to be cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions, which had taken a turn for the worse. Festival promoters Daniel Cuffe and Peter Taylor made the difficult but completely correct decision to end the concert, as wind speeds had reached a level deemed unsafe for the Festival’s customers, performers and staff.
A sad end to an incredible show, but the reactions of the audience to what they saw was phenomenal. Thank you Cuffe and Taylor for such a brilliant production, and here’s to Lytham Festival 2017, which we are sure will continue to boast a phenomenal programme.