Charity gala performance is a mayoral first

Billy and Chris Blanchard-Cooper as Ugly Sisters for Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society's winning float at last year's Littlehamtpon Town Carnival
Billy and Chris Blanchard-Cooper as Ugly Sisters for Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society's winning float at last year's Littlehamtpon Town Carnival

Theatre companies, dancing schools and choirs are joining forces for the first charity gala performance of its kind.

The show Curtain Up! is one of Littlehampton mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper’s major fundraising events of the year for his chosen charities, the Friends of Mewsbrook Park and Littlehampton Heritage Railway Association.

Billy said: “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time the Littlehampton town mayor has held a charity gala performance of this type and I hope the town will get behind me to support it.

“Curtain Up! will be following a theme of musicals, with companies promising a range of popular classics from the likes of Oliver!, 42nd Street and Les Miserables, to name but a few.”

Following his personal invitation to groups, eight have signed up for the show at the Windmill Theatre, Littlehampton, on Saturday, March 3.

Dance Industry Studios, Virtuoso Dance Company, Adult Tap with Charlotte and Star Ignited Performance Academy will join the town’s three longest-standing amateur theatre companies, Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society, Littlehampton Players Operatic Society and Stage Door Theatre Company, plus Edwin James Festival Choir for the show.

Billy explained: “The show, which is being co-ordinated by local directors Jan Combes and Lynne Jones, will be staged with a matinee performance at 2.30pm and evening performance at 7.30pm.

“All funds raised, including ticket sales and raffle, will be going towards the mayor’s charity appeal.”

Billy is publicity officer for Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society and has many contacts with performing groups in the area. His husband Chris has been involved in amateur theatre for the past 30 years and is currently president and chairman of the musical comedy society.

Billy added: “I am delighted that so many of the local groups and performers have agreed to take part in this show and that the many people behind the scenes have agreed to offer their support free of charge in aid of these good causes.

“I have always been passionate about the theatre in the town and this really gives the local performers a showcase to show what talent we have.

“The management at the Windmill have also been incredibly supportive in this event in order that we can raise as much money as possible for my chosen charities.

“With such a large cast involved and a lot of interest already, I am sure tickets will prove popular and I would encourage early booking in order to avoid disappointment.”

Tickets are now available at £15 and can be booked by calling 01903 730775. There is an answer machine service from 8am to 10pm.