|The Broadway Theatre - Peterborough||04 February 2005||by Liz Shave|
I had a blast on the evening of 4 February, attending Rick Wakeman's, "one off" show at The Broadway Theatre Peterborough. I will give those unfortunate enough not to have attended a review in general and I hope that I can convey the atmosphere of the venue and in doing so highlight my favourite parts of the performance. Walking into the foyer I saw a table decorated with RWCC merchandise, also Mike Holden of the store in baseball cap! It was good to meet him-we had exchanged emails over shop goods so now I could put a face to the name! He is a friendly guy; did a sterling job all evening, recruiting new RWCC members throughout. I echo Rick's sentiments regarding the Theatre; formerly a cinema and seemed to have been recently "done up". I must say there was plenty of legroom and chairs were comfortable. Rick appeared in white and bespectacled, in jovial mood, providing funny stories and jokes, chatting about how he loved doing the TV show “Countdown". A varied selection of Rick's masterpieces was laid on for our consumption, spanning his celebrated long career.
My favourite piece of the evening was, "Dance of a thousand lights", during which I was impressed by the lighting system that was brought into play - a silver ball suspended from the ceiling reflected spotlights that flickered across the roof of the theatre-mimicking the thousand lights. Sadly we were not joined by the English Chamber Choir! The Grand Piano was highly instrumental this particular evening, again this was a highlight for me; an integral part of Rick's flamboyance to which his worldwide audience has become accustomed. I was fascinated to learn of some of the hardships Rick has gone through professionally and was pleased to hear how he, in inimitable style, made light of them - taking it all with a pinch of salt. Requests were duly accommodated and audience participation was not omitted! I might add that I would have shuddered if chosen to go on stage and assist the "God of Keyboards"! Not so in the case of the lady he chose! Music of "YES" was represented and Rick spoke admiringly of Jon Anderson, "YES" lead vocalist and pal.
Oh the delight of the audience, tonight Rick was joined by Ramon Remedios, an opera singer with whom he had recorded in the past; forming a fantastically humorous double act for our consumption. A selection was chosen by Ramon to be performed, but Rick was anxious to break new ground, astounding us with his skills of opera composition and performing with the tenor Ramon. I leave it to your imaginations to ponder this spectacle....... Ramon did mention, by the way, that his favourite Opera was, "The Barber of Seville"...... Lennon and McCartney were not left out on this memorable occasion. Neither were Rick's crew, Mike, Ian and Stuart who Rick gave thanks to and praised.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was delighted when, as icing on the cake, Rick signed merchandise at the shows end -WE MET THE MAN! As an extra treat I obtained Ramon's autograph whilst imploring him to join Rick on future jaunts. I asked Rick to consider a "gig" at Chatham, our local theatre -and so my fingers are crossed! The legend that is Rick Wakeman was in full flow and looming larger-than-life. He seemed on top of the world -and as my parting comment I reckon he thoroughly enjoyed himself on his grand piano that night!