The wonderful men and women of the West End continually give their time to help an array of worthy causes, from their participation in the annual events of HIV/AIDS-based charity MADTrust to performing in concerts and cabarets for other organisations such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Meningitis Trust and SANDS (Stillborn and Neonatal Death Society), among many more. One cause which has received immense support from the theatre industry is the cruel disease of cancer, which has stolen so many lives. I know many people, friends and family alike, who have suffered with various forms of cancer and a very dear friend of mine is currently struggling with the disease right now, so it’s one which is very close to my heart: seeing a group of performers coming together in a bid to help fundraise for the cause is something I wholeheartedly admire and support.
Several West End stars are lending their voices to a one-night-only cabaret to be held this month in aid of Breast Cancer Care. A night of “music, fun and celebration”, Breast End Cares takes place in the glamorous setting of the Aura Nightclub in Mayfair, London on Sunday 25th November and features a superb line-up of performers from the West End stage.
Having dazzled and delighted in such shows as Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, the confirmed cast for the event are: Gemma Baird, Scott Davies, Killian Donnelly, Matt Elson, Wendy Ferguson, Lyndsey Gardiner, Philip Griffiths, Siubhan Harrison, Lauren James, Nadim Naaman, Jodie Prenger, Jeremy Secomb, Gareth Snook, Katy Treharne, Rachel Tucker and Marc Vastenavondt. A wide range of musical genres feature in the event, with each singer performing one solo alongside several group numbers and duets. There will be songs from the likes of Scott Alan, Jason Robert Brown, William Finn, Fleetwood Mac, Alan Menken, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Journey, Keane, Lerner and Loewe, McFly, Steven Schwartz, Ed Sheeran, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stevie Wonder – audiences can expect to heart hit songs from musicals such as Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.
In addition to performing as part of the night’s line-up, Naaman is the one who put the event together. Most recently seen in the West End in the company of The Phantom of the Opera, he formed By Request Singers in 2012 and has previously organised another charity event at popular cabaret venue, the Delfont Room. The creation of Breast End Cares was inspired by a woman suffering from cancer that each of the night’s performers have a personal connection to. Musical direction comes from Louise Hunt, with vocal arrangements by Colin Zammit. In keeping with the cause’s colour theme the dress-code for the night is pretty in pink, but due to the rules of the venue, the event is only available to those over the age of eighteen, although it has been indicated that, if the demand is there, a repeat performance in a more family-friendly location may be a possibility. It seems that not everyone was happy with the age limit attached to the event however, as a number of young twitter users have aimed abusive messages at the Breast End Cares twitter account bemoaning the fact. To these individuals I say this: perhaps the time spent composing these messages could have been put to better use by say, taking a look at the Breast Cancer Care website and seeing how they help breast cancer sufferers; maybe then the most important aspect of this event would have become apparent. Yes, the cast are there to entertain an audience, but their main reason for taking part is the chance to do their bit for the charity in the name of someone personally affected by the disease. Buying a ticket to Breast End Cares to help support them in this is a far better reason than doing so just to see a favourite performer. Those who are too young to understand this…well, perhaps it’s a good thing after all that the venue’s door policy stands.
Originally named the Mastectomy Association, Breast Cancer Care was founded in 1978 by Betty Westgate, five years after she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away in 2000, but her work continues today in the provision of information and support for those affected by breast cancer, promoting the importance of early detection campaigning for improvement in standards of care and support.
For people with cancer, the existence of an organisation such as this to help them through the minefield is a vital benefit. Breast End Cares is being held in aid of an extremely worthwhile cause, and with all the ticket money going to the charity, there really isn’t a better reason to book. The night is all for the support of breast cancer sufferers and a way for people to show that they care; those who created the event and those taking part in it are showing just how much the West End cares.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Tuesday 6th November 2012
Breast End Cares takes place at the Aura Nightclub in Mayfair on Sunday 25th November 2012, 6pm. For all information on the event and how to donate to the Breast Cancer Cares charity, you can follow their account on twitter: @BreastEndCares.