Showcase were over in The Southside tonight at the historic Kirk O’Field (former church) building with their 2015 Christmas concert, and considering the weather conditions outside, people were thankfully still coming out for the event.
Compared to the larger show extravaganzas of this year – Showcase 25 at The Festival Theatre, and Showcase 2015 at The Church Hill Theatre, this was a very trimmed back show that actually perfectly suited this much smaller venue.
This was pretty much “Showcase stripped down” with no big production numbers, no costumes, big theatrical lighting or any other props, just simply twenty or so singers on stage with piano accompaniment singing old and new Christmas songs, and it worked.
This show was a mixture of solo and group performances, and although there were some fine solo performances (“Oh Holy Night” stands out for me), the strength of Showcase is always in its group vocals, and that is where the sound of the night really came from.
Along the way tonight we had some classic traditional carols, including my favourite one of all time – “In The Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti (although with a different arrangement to the one I know best) and of course “Silent Night”.
We also of course had some popular music, film and show Christmas songs that included a pretty close to the original version rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, but I will always hear Bruce Springsteen’s version of that song, and the much recorded “Baby it’s Cold Outside (originally from the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter).
With any Showcase production, you always have to remember just what the shows are all about, and that is a lot of people giving up their time in not only the on-stage production, but in hours of rehearsals to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, and at the end of the show we were all given some figures in just how successful these fund raising efforts have been. 2015 will see a cheque for £25,000 going to Macmillan and this brings the total raised since Showcase started to over £252,000 – impressive by any standards and more than making up for the odd note or two that you will get in any production like this.
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Review by Tom King