Sing That Swing with the Swing 16 Big Band

Date 14th April 2023
Society Farnworth Performing Arts Company Ltd
Venue Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton
Type of Production Concert
Director Catherine Bland
Musical Director Steve Sandiford
Choreographer Sue Crosby
Producer Catherine Bland


Author: Liz Hume-Dawson

Farnworth Performing Arts put on an event celebrating the sound of swing over three evenings with a new venue set out informally, cabaret style. The curtains opened to reveal a 16 piece - as it says on the packet - Swing Band led by Musical Director, Steve Sandiford, who never stopped and was full of energy. The band were amazing and the sound they emitted was glorious - the cast must surely have appreciated them. Saxophone section was Niamh Boland, Julie Leach, Kathryn Dunphy and Ruth Parry. Trumpet section was Jay Shepherd, Neil Kershaw, Mike Lyons and Ben Shepherd. Trombone section was Jack Looman, Dave Parkinson, John Creer and Ray Stansfield. And last but not least Rhythm section: Bass - Mark Jones, Guitar -Brad Nixon, Drums - Tom Royle and Piano Oliver De-Marcello - who must be given special mention for One For My Baby.

This was an elevated concert with movement and some choreography. Choreography by Sue Crosby, Hair and Make-up by Jackie Kenyon. Director Catherine Bland makes good use of the stage with cocktail bar set stage left with one bar stool and a small table stage right with two bar stools and an array of cocktails. The cast were able to use these and have other members of the concert supporting them while they sung to create a relaxed atmosphere. There were a few last-minute changes to the show, but these were seamlessly delivered to an appreciative audience. Production Manager Lucy Fish, helped by Lou Fisher. Lighting and Sound all appropriate by Bradley Shaw and helped by Frances Shinks, Olivia Bland and Tom Shinks.

All numbers were well done and credit to cast who had solos and the Ensemble for their support. Just to pick a few out - Director Catherine Bland gave a lovely performance of Orange Coloured Sky.  Gary Gee put in an excellent rendition of Cheek to Cheek and Feeling Good.

Bryan Mycroft singing Ain’t That A Kick In The Head and Fly Me to the Moon was a stellar performance and lovely to hear him solo. David Glynn-Whitehead singing I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Mr Bojangles were superb – he has a fabulous gift for story telling through song. Always on My mind sung by Olivia Finley was a delight.

Tim Platt, David Glynn-Whitehead and Gary Gee - Boltons answers to the Brat Pack - were great together and singing Home was just beautiful and my personal favourite was Mack The Knife.

The song that gave me goosebumps was Skyfall - wonderfully sung by Holly Walsh and danced by Emilia Parkinson. The contemporary dance was just stunning and I loved the interpretation and facial expression. The dancer and singer were just so cohesive together.

What a truly delightful evening - the committee and cast must be so pleased. Thank you for the invitation from my guest Angela and I.

Liz Hume-Dawson

D5 Rep