The greatest show ‘in a decade’ raises thousands for charity

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By Hannah O’Hanlon

‘The greatest show that Campbeltown has seen for a decade,’ is how one audience member described a musical fundraising extravaganza, which an initial count suggests made about £4,000 for charity.

Extra seats had to be borrowed from Campbeltown Town Hall so the Victoria Hall could be filled to capacity for Campbeltown Takes On The Greatest Showman, organised by fundraising supremo Cheryl Brown.

Cheryl dedicated the evening – which was in aid of Breast Cancer Now and the Mairi Semple Cancer Fund, with an amount also donated to a local woman suffering from breast cancer – to everyone who has suffered or is suffering from the illness.

A troupe of local artists, as well as a visiting performer, sang and danced to several of the 2017 hit musical’s most popular songs, including The Greatest Show, This Is Me, Come Alive, Re-write the Stars, From Now On.

Performers included singers Wendy Beasley, Gary Anderson, Erin Ferguson, Hope Strang, Ruairidh Wallace, Lindsey Cairns and local choir The Upbeats, dancer Morgan Irwin and dance groups Dance Legacy and Dance Collective, and musical theatre students Hannah Black, from Kintyre, and visitor Ally Kennard.

As well as Cheryl, the crew working hard behind the scenes included Jamie Girvan, Randall Robertson, Mandy Robertson, Claire Cairney, Paula McLean and Bobby Cairns.

There was also a raffle, for which many varied prizes were donated by local businesses and individuals, and a lucky squares competition, with the winner donating the prize money back into the evening’s fund.

Speaking after the production’s finale, Cheryl revealed that MC Helen Gilchrist, who kept the evening running smoothly with her usual good-spirited humour, was one of her inspirations for organising it.

Cheryl said: ‘Over 20 years ago, my friend and I sang on this very stage to the one and only Spice Girls. Helen, my mum [Andrea], Davie Brodie and many others put a show together called Kids Stars In Their Eyes, which was a great success and always stayed with me, and gave me the inspiration for the show.’

This is not Cheryl’s first fundraiser – in the past few years she has organised a 1990s and 2000s-themed night in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, a gig by Stone Roses tribute act Resurrection in aid of Shopper-Aide, The Hub and Elderberries, and a ‘rave’ for toddlers in aid of Youth Impact.

Speaking to the Courier this week, Cheryl said: ‘I love organising events that I would like to go to, so that makes it easier, and also I love music, so that helps.

‘Raising money is a bonus and there is always someone who needs it more than me. I’ve learned that you get out what you put in from the universe, whether it’s positive or negative.’

Of Saturday’s show, for which planning started in February, she said: ‘The talent and generosity in this town is unbelievable. I want to say thank you to the town hall for supplying us with the extra seats to enable us to sell extra tickets, and thank you to everyone for their donations and raffle prizes, and to all the performers for taking part.’

Cheryl Brown.
Cheryl Brown.

Gary Anderson as The Greatest Showman’s PT Barnum, supported by The Upbeats. KC_c30showmanfront01

Cheryl Brown. KC_c30showmanfront02