Crazy for Ruthie

A Musical Evening with Ruthie Henshall, New Wolsey Theatre, July 15 2012

What a marvellous patron Suffolk Family Carers has in Ruthie Henshall. It’s a charity that is clearly close to her heart, and her reputation as a star in the West End and on Broadway pretty much guaranteed the “returns only” notices outside the Wolsey for Sunday evening’s fund-raising concert.

Ruthie Henshall exudes theatrical glamour, but she has a truly engaging personality that shines through in the little anecdotes and observations on life that interspersed a wonderful anthology of musical theatre gems – most from shows which Henshall herself has appeared in. From Crazy For You, which made her as a star, we had Nice Work If You Can Get It and Someone To Watch Over Me, with Ruthie letting slip that her tap dancing in that show wasn’t her strongest suit – the dance captain, Stephen Mears, now one of country’s top choreographers, described it as like listening to someone dropping cutlery down the stairs. This is a star who is not afraid of a little self-mockery.

By the end, of course, the audience was on its feet – swept there by a brilliantly belted rendition of All That Jazz from Chicago. On the way, she proved her amazing versatility, with decent helpings of Lloyd Webbers and Stephen Sondheim, including a rather beautiful medley by MD Paul Schofield of songs from Sweeney Todd (Nothing’s Gonna Harm You) and Into The Woods (No-one is Alone and Children Will Listen). Then there was, for me, the definitive version of I Dreamed a Dream – a performance that underlined her skills as an actress as well a singer.

A polished band gave Henshall superb support, and an added treat was a performance of considerable maturity by 16 year old singer Lily Ayres, who gave a very moving account of Hallelujah, and also joined Ruthie in the duet I Know Him So Well. Lily, who cares for her mother, is herself a beneficiary of the charity which has offered her practical support and advice over the years – as it has done for countless other family carers – and that’s anyone who, without payment, spends time looking after a relative, child, partner or friend who is ill or has a disability.


You may also want to watch:


A great evening out and the most deserving of causes. To find out more visit www.suffolkfamilycarers.org

JAMES HAYWARD

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter