A truly fitting evening of song and dance was enjoyed by a packed Pendle Hippodrome audience in memory of local show stalwart Dennis Royle.
“Dance the Night Away”, performed by friends and family of the popular lifelong Hippodrome member Dennis, who died last August, featured songs from the shows, and delightful dance routines.
Indeed, Dennis’ grandson, Josh Hindle, was one of the driving forces behind the tribute evening which helped to raise money for the Stroke Association and Pendleside Hospice.
Josh, who starred in the show alongside a talented ensemble, also directed with good friend and fellow fund-raiser David Smith. Lisa Manley was the musical director.
Josh said: “My granddad was a lifelong member of the Pendle Hippodrome and was involved in some way when the theatre originally changed into a theatre from the bingo hall.
“He spent many years with the Freelance Society, St John’s AODS, until they finally merged together to create Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company, of which he spent many years playing different roles on and off stage.
“He supported the shows come rain or shine and was always busy creating craft gifts to hand out to the cast as ‘break a leg’ presents!
“It was our way of paying tribute to his love for the theatre and for the people involved in the theatre.
“Howard G Raw, a close friend of the family said it was impossible to turn away our invitation for him to compere the evening.”
The songs came thick and fast in glorious fashion on the night starting with “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from Annie before a wonderfully funny rendition of “Food Glorious Food” from Oliver!
Favourites from My Fair Lady allowed the performers to don some wonderful costumes before modern musicals Legally Blonde, The Full Monty and Sister Act. The first act ended with a rousing rendition of Master of the House from Les Misérables.
A wonderful second act continued the fun with some superb solo performances from musicals including Beauty and the Beast, The Producers, The Wedding Singer and Blood Brothers.
The evening closed with the very fitting “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from the theatre’s forthcoming production of Spamalot.
Dennis would have been proud.