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Issue Date:- 25/27 August 2008

Final Southport Summer Showcases 2008

THE last of this year’s ‘Summer Showcase’ events takes place this coming weekend, 30 August to 31 August 2008, in The Town Hall Gardens, Southport, starting at 12 noon.  The selection of exciting acts includes a wide variety of vocalists and dance troupes who are guaranteed to cater for all ages and tastes.  The free open air event is once again kindly sponsored by The Town Gardens Café, Sefton Council and The Champion Newspaper Group.  It will be compered by the award winning writer of ‘Our Benny’ the musical Anne Dalton, whose team at ABD Productions provide the stage and technical support.  Joining Anne will be the well known radio personality Neil Newton, who’s currently presenting for BBC Radio Merseyside in Liverpool.  There will be collections during both showcases for ABD’s charity for this year, the Wish Foundation, the charity which aims to fulfil the dreams of terminally ill children. 

The show opens on Saturday with Lisa Winwood.  Lisa is 20.  She says she always wanted to sing and knew that nothing was going to stop her.  She is now a self employed entertainer and has gained her experience from being the lead singer at holiday parks.  She hopes to win a recording contract in the near future.

Our second solo performer is Gina (Georgina) 16 is from Wrightington.  She has made the finals for ‘Search for a Star’ this year.  She has also made finalist for ‘The Voice’ competition and came second in Wish FM’s ‘Wigan’s got Talent’.  A talented dancer and pianist also, Gina is concentrating on her vocal set for the showcase.

Following her are youngsters from Central Studios, the dance, singing, and drama school situated on Lord Street, which caters for all styles of dance.

The work is choreographed by Nicki Denis- Williams and Gavin Persand both professionally trained dancers currently teaching at Central Studios.  Gavin is a member of New Adventures Dance Company and is in the middle of a world tour of the companies production of Edward Scissorhands, having previously performed in the multi award winning production of Swan Lake as featured in the hit film 'Billy Elliot'.  Nicki has recently just finished filming two contemporary dance films for the '...maryanne flies away dance company'.  She has also just completed a BA Honours Degree in Drama, Physical Theatre and Dance. 

Michael Doherty from Formby is up next.  He plays the acoustic guitar and writes his own material..  He currently attends the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester every Saturday studying opera and piano.  He has performed in multiple events both for school and is in demand for concerts.

Making her showcase debut is Alex Birchall, 16 years old from Lancashire.  She’s had an impressive grounding in the industry so far, auditioning for the X Factor- in which she made it past the first round!  Unfortunately she didn’t make it past the second, but what do they know !!!  She has sung on stage at the Liverpool Empire.  Her favourite singers are Diana Ross and Alicia Keys.

Another finalist for this year’s Search for a Star is Jodie Kate, a Lancashire lass.  Apart from an impressive singing career she has appeared on TV programmes such as ‘Shameless’ and ‘Life on Mars’.  She has entered various pop competitions and was on the junior Eurovision song contest where she was a backing singer and dancer. 

Hayley Murray narrowly missed a place in the final for Search for a Star this year.  She’s from South[port and is a student at Christ The King.  She played the role of Rizzo in “Grease” for the school and has appeared in several of Song’s musicals including High School Musical and Calamity Jane. 

The final female vocalist is Linda Slater.  Linda has taught herself to sing from an early age.  Her favourite singers are Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Shania Twain.  She supports Liverpool FC and her favourite player is Steven Gerard.  She has been in school shows since she was 8 and has since been involved in shows at the Art Centre and Drama at the Door Theatre in Liverpool.

David Ashley’s standards mix will ensure that there is something for everyone on the programme.  David is also through to the final of Search For a Star.  He was a runner up on the BBC’s second series of “Let Me Entertain You”, which was hosted by Brian Connelly and is looking forward to his first showcase appearance.

A touch of glamour will again be added to the proceedings by models from the Piranda Dress Agency of Lord Street.  They’ll be showing off their latest collections at various points during the afternoon.  Garments will be modelled in the open, around the spectacular fountain area. 

...continued...   All goods are available to buy on the day.  As always there will be other showcase popular performers popping along to see if they can add to the programme and ABD will do their utmost to extend and modify the programme where possible.

Sunday sees a rich mix of both solo performers and local bands alike which are sure to entertain the crowds and shoppers on Lord Street.

Opening the show are ‘Triphazard’.  They are fronted by Steffi Stokes from Ormskirk and are well known around the North West.  The band has a strong fan base that has been growing from day one.  They have performed in all kinds of clubs and venues as well as making frequent radio broadcasts.

Next up is Danielle Reddin.  Danielle is 20 and is a student.  She has sung since she was little and has gigged since the age of 13 in a show group.  Since then she has performed solo gigs and is now in the middle of sorting out a duo act.  She narrowly missed a place in the final for Search For a Star this year. 

A young lady who is no stranger to the showcases is Suzanne Morris from Aintree.  She is a performing arts teacher and also writes poetry.  A huge John Groban fan, and was lucky enough to meet him when he said the poem she wrote him was beautiful.  Suzanne has been a previous finalist in Search for a Star and has reached the final again this year..

Vocalist Kayleigh Willis, 22 from Liverpool works as a sales-assistant in the day and is a singer by night.  She has worked at two holiday parks on the entertainment team and was also a member of a Steps and Abba tribute band.  She’s a solo artist but is in the making of getting a duo together.

Also from Liverpool is Carl Harper, a student.  He plays guitar and writes all his own songs.  Carl is influenced by the Beatles mainly but also likes the Rolling Stones and Keane.  He’s trying to form his own band and has five songs which he has written and played guitar for himself.

Scott Chapman is a 17 year old student from Wigan.  Scott has performed at Ladies day at the Grand National and sung at 2 football stadiums.  Scott loves the Rat Pack and loves to sing songs from musicals.  His ambition is to become a professional singer and to sing with a big band in front of massive crowds of people.  Scott is through to the final for Search for a Star. 

Stacey Martin is also a student and lives in Formby.  Stacey applied for Search for a Star and has made it through to the heats for two years running now.  She is currently studying for her “A” levels at KGV College.

Alan Strong also narrowly missed a place in the Area final for Search For a Star this year.  He has appeared on Britain’s got talent and the Granada Reports Tour of Talent 2007.  He wants to pursue a showbiz career and his act includes magic and impressions.

Kim Howlett is 17 years old and lives in Manchester.  Last year she got down to the last six girls in Sharon Osbournes group on the X Factor.  She didn’t make it to the live show but say’s she hasn’t given up.  At the age of 11 she got down to the last 40 to be in the band S Club Junior’s and at 16 made it to the 2nd round on Grease is the Word.

Havana Nights choreograph their own routines of freestyle Latin American, flamenco, Salsa and many more.  They have worked at The M E N, Blackpool Tower Ballroom, and appeared on the Old Time Music Hall at Blackpool as well as many corporate events and venues.  They have performed at the showcases in previous years and are delighted to be back.

Ken Nicholson has appeared in numerous musical theatre productions and toured with both The Jim Bowen Show and “Moments of Magic”.  In 2002 Ken won the National Whitbread Senior Citizens UK Talent Contest.  He played the lead role of Joe Wragg in “Her Benny” which sold out The Liverpool Empire.  He is a firm favourite with Showcase audiences and his wonderful charisma and vocal talent are a perfect way to close this year’s summer showcases.

Other artists to appear include standards vocalist Bill Hardman as well as some favourites from the first weekend making welcome reappearances.

A spokesperson for ABD said that they were delighted the showcases featured in Southport’s calendar again this year and thanked the various sponsors for their support.

Singing, dancing, live bands and musical variety….what better way to end the Southport Summer Showcase weekends this year!

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