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novello flier

DEAR IVOR AND HIS LEADING LADIES
THE MARLOWE STUDIO
SUNDAY 19 JULY 2015

Once again the Marlowe Theatre Studio was the venue for an enchanting evening of the well-loved music of Ivor Novello. Marlowe Friends and their large audience were entertained by three talented musicians and a compere, soprano Linda Watts, mezzo Judith Buckle, pianist Martin Cleave and James Hay, the devisor and compere of the show. James regaled the audience with stories of his family’s connections with Ivor and many anecdotes relating to him and his friends, especially his Leading Ladies.

Special mention must be made of Martin, who stepped in as accompanist at twenty-four hours notice, due to the hospitalisation of the advertised pianist, Carol Anne Wells. The singers and Martin had only one short rehearsal but he did a wonderful job, sympathetically supporting the ladies’ vocal items and also providing five piano solos.

It almost seemed that the music had been composed specifically for Linda’s beautiful soprano voice. The notes soared so easily in ‘Love is my reason’, ‘Waltz of My Heart’ and ‘Someday My Heart Will Awake’. Linda added to the pleasure of her performance with her lovely smile and her beautiful lilac and ivory gowns. Judith’s rich mellow voice was heard at its best in the stirring ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ and the haunting ‘Fly Home, Little Heart’. Her versatility came to the fore in ‘Vitality’ and ‘Why Is There Ever Goodbye’. The duets ‘Wings of Sleep’, ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs’ and ‘My Dearest Dear’ were outstanding.

This was truly an evening of memories for many of the audience and another triumph for the chairman of Marlowe Friends, June Brewer, who had presented the concert.

MARGARET BARKER