Above l to r: Magician Stanley Hau (SH UVI) and the Headmaster; 'Facade' - Chorus from 'Jekyll and Hyde'; Daniel Lo (SH LVI) plays the yanquin (Chinese dulcimer)
Every light bulb in the Ashton Theatre was put to good use last Friday, for Shrewsbury’s first Charity Variety Show. Imaginatively choreographed Musical Theatre numbers got the full treatment, with colours, strobes, smoke and spots. Just as with every aspect of the Show, those in the lighting box were students, who had planned and organised the evening as a team.
There was a wonderful jazz quartet, who lived every note of the music; songs composed by those on guitar and keyboards; a Chinese musical instrument played with drumsticks which formed a ballet of their own; ballet itself, rather magically accompanied by a lone ‘cellist; followed by magic performed by the self-styled ‘Mentalist’, Stanley Hau. Having produced a gasp from the audience with his first trick, Stanley’s last trick depended on having a reliable, literate, obedient member of the audience as his assistant – and the Headmaster fulfilled this role admirably.
I do hope there will be another chance to see Rory Fraser and Ralph Wade, in the roles that surely they were born to perform: the goofy Wooster and his aloof butler, Jeeves. The evening finished, much to the audience’s delight, with a third comic song, involving empty glasses, concentration, co-ordination and team work. The England cricket team should sign them up instantly.
George Fowler (SH UVI) had masterminded the event, as he’d visited the Medic Malawi project two years ago. He spoke movingly about the impact the ‘joy’ and ‘resourcefulness’ of people living in tough circumstances had made on him. As a result of the success of the evening, and the generosity of the audience, £630 was raised. Shrewsbury School has already funded the building of a simple, one-roomed Eye Clinic in one of the seven poorest countries in the world. Each operation costs £30, and, as there were 21 students involved in this show, each of them can feel proud to have contributed to restoring one person’s sight.
To see some of the highlights of the evening filmed by Andrew Spicer, Max Balance and Charlie Clarke, members of the student-run group Shrewsbury School TV, please click on the image below:
For more information about the work of Medic Malawi, please visit www.medicmalawi.org.uk