I just received an email from the ticket agency asking me to be seated early for the concert "due to filming of this performance". I doubt that it will be part of the BBC2 broadcast the same evening, but there is a chance that at least part of it will be available to watch at some time.
I guess this will make amateur photography even more of a no-no
Possibly... though I recall Russell Watson in one of his concerts asking the audience to pull out their phones and flash, at one point! Anyway, it should ensure that they'll fill up the theatre, by fair means or foul!!!
And we have (hopefully) that TV broadcast of the concert (possibly a DVD) to look forward to. I'd watch that even if Hayley wasn't in it.
Ah, so she cannot attend the concert, which is a pity. Not really surprising given her age. I wonder if the performance video will be a single camera just for her, or a full-blown professional recording setup? Hopefully the latter!
I will admit to being a little miffed when Richard posted about stalls seats being sold at the cheaper price after I had already booked the upper circle at that price. However, the news that the concert had sold out was perhaps a creative interpretation of the truth (by the management).
Arriving at The Palladium shortly after the advertised doors open time, I found people directed to one of the main doors for the Stalls and the other door for Royal Circle and Boxes. Patrons for the Upper Circle were sent to “the next door up the street”. At the next door I found the staircase frustratingly blocked by a gaggle of people milling around a small table where people were apparently collecting pre-ordered tickets. In my attempt to circumvent this blockage, an assistant at the Box Office door asked if she could help, then told me that Upper Circle tickets were being exchanged for the Stalls, and I should collect mine from the aforementioned small table.
Thus I found myself in the fifth row of the front stalls, close to the left hand side of the stage. From my vantage point, I could see into the wings at the right, and also had a clear view of the boxes on that side of the auditorium. A couple of minutes before the start of the performance, I saw the door at the back of the Royal Box open and I wondered what special guests might be attending (I already knew that Dame Vera would not be there). As two ladies entered the box, I thought to myself “that looks like the Queen”, and as the audience spontaneously rose to their feet my thoughts were confirmed.
The concert itself was basically a review of Vera Lynn’s life and career, with actors narrating the story, interspersed with performances of some of the significant songs of the period.
Hayley’s first appearance on stage was towards the end of the first half in the section featuring wartime songs. She appeared in a black and white dress to sing ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’. The whole event was quite emotionally charged and I will admit to shedding a tear or two (or more) at the sight and sound of Hayley singing to me again. Sharing the stage with Hayley was a bare chested male dancer with a picture of a seagull on his trousers. I can’t say that his performance did much for me – at one point I wondered if he was translating the lyrics into sign language. Also running through my mind at this point was “How am I going to describe Hayley’s dress to Libby? Is it really white? No, more light grey or silver… or perhaps even beige?” Stage lighting can be quite deceptive; the one thing I was sure about was the black.
Hayley had mentioned singing two songs. I had hoped that she might also sing ‘A Nightingale Sang’ which I had seen in the programme, but it was not to be – that honour fell to Alexander Armstrong. So I started wondering what song she would sing in the second half.
The climax of the first half was a parade of the Chelsea Pensioners onto the stage in their scarlet coats. I then noticed Hayley standing alongside them just in front of me. She went on to lead the singing of ‘There’ll Always Be an England’. As the audience rose to their feet to honour the Pensioners, I took the opportunity to sneak a quick photo. A picture tells a thousand words, and my mind could relax.
Hayley appeared once more for the finale, when the whole cast and the audience sang Happy Birthday to Dame Vera, followed by ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
Another emotional moment for me was when, for the first time in my life, I sang ‘God Save the Queen’ to Her Majesty in person.
Hayley was one of very few who sang more than one song, and the only performer to make two separate appearances on stage (apart from the finale).