Night with the Stars – Annual Gala Concert of Loud Applause Productions

12th November 2016

Review by Robert Lloyd (Media Consultant)

It was a night to remember – and a night for Remembrance.

‘A Night With The Stars’ at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, was an occasion for showcasing up-and-coming talent – the stars of the future – in Llanelli. And, with a clever change of mood and gear, it also served as on occasion for Remembrance, with an emotional Tribute To the Fallen in the second half of the programme. The event was designed to provide a platform for members of the Loud Applause Rising Stars team to show off their talents.

With the sterling support of the Morriston Orpheus Choir, they did just that. Samuel Morris, Jordan Williams, Daniella Difede and Keely Morgan now seem like fully-established and rounded performers in their own right thanks to the nurturing of the Rising Stars programme. They practically have their own fan clubs – and they didn’t disappoint on a night when there was stiff competition for best performer of the night. Sophie Maliphant and Callum Howells (runaway winner of the ‘suit of the night’ battle) are less well known, but marked themselves out as names for the future. It was also good to hear German-born Piet Zorn, making one of his first appearances under the Loud Applause banner, while Birmingham-based Anthony Marsden brought a touch of jazz style to the evening.

The instrumentalists also shone on a glittering occasion. Cai Charles (guitar), Rhodri Thomas (trombone) and The Singhs Violin Trio were a delight. The world famous Morriston Orpheus Choir, under the baton of Joy Amman Davies, sparkled during Razzle Dazzle and The Impossible Dream and with a repertoire which spanned the worlds of opera, contemporary music and hymn singing.

Credit is due to Loud Applause director Cerith Owens, who scripted a varied and hugely-entertaining programme for an evening hosted by BBC Wales and BBC Cymru journalist and presenter Garry Owen. Midway through the second-half, Robert Lloyd led the artists and the audience in a poignant Tribute to The Fallen, a series of poems, prayers and musical items, punctuated by the Last Post played by Jayne Thomas of the Burry Port Town Band.

The accompanists for the evening included Llyr Simon, Andrew Pike and Rhiannon Williams-Hale.