Reviewed by Jan Dixon
Back again at Ferneham Hall by popular demand – this highly acclaimed Phil Aldridge production, showcasing songs from The Carpenters catalogue did not fail to entertain! The concert performance used a stage-wide backdrop of video projections to illustrate the back story to Richard and Karen Carpenter. Hits such as Close To You, Top of the World, Goodbye To Love, Rainy Days and Mondays and We’ve Only Just Begun were performed to an appreciative audience. Excellent vocals and great musicianship. This was a refined and polished show; true to the originals.
Claire Furley provided the stunning lead vocals for the show. The following fantastic musicians played Richard Carpenter’s original orchestral arrangements: Phil Aldridge – piano, wurlitzer and backing vocals; Richard Pardy – tenor sax, clarinet, flute, recorder, percussion and backing vocals; Brent Keefe – drums and percussion; Ian Latimer – lad guitar and backing vocals; Jon Bower – bass guitar and backing vocals; Jude Bridges – violin and backing vocals; Vicki Oliver – oboe, cor anglaise and backing vocals. Each instrumentalist had the opportunity to showcase their considerable talent.
A stand-out song was ‘I Need To Be In Love’, in which just four members of the show performed a pared-down version of this classic Carpenters hit. Vicki Oliver played the cor anglaise beautifully, with Jude Bridges on violin and Phil Aldridge on piano accompanying the lead vocalist Claire Furley. ‘Now’ was also exquisitely sung by Claire Furley, a rarely performed Carpenters song. Richard Pardy demonstrated his amazing versatility using a wide range of instruments; with his fantastic tenor sax playing dominating the stage.
The Carpenters had a vast catalogue of songs, with key ones being performed tonight; to please the very receptive audience, a medley of hits made sure many other favourites were included. Singing along and clapping was encouraged, to which the crowd happily responded.
An excellent show; thoroughly recommended, with a 5 star rating. Band members and the lead vocalist met their public at the end of the show to sign programmes, cd’s and dvd’s, which was very welcome, happily showing their appreciation for such a supportive audience.
Ferneham Hall is on Osborn Road, behind Fareham Shopping Centre and adjacent to Osborn Road multi-storey carpark. There is also provision for parking immediately outside Ferneham Hall. All parking is free after 6pm. If you are coming by road there is easy access off Junction 11 of the M27; by rail the venue is a 15 minute walk from the railway station. Staff provide customer care to the highest standard.
For other shows at the Ferneham Hall in Fareham visit www.fernehamhall.co.uk or call the box office on 01329 231942.
Ferneham Hall, Osborn Road, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7DB | 01329 231942