LAST Saturday night the Garrison Theatre was the venue for a fantastic night of entertainment, with the added bonus of raising just over £4,500 for Cancer Research UK, writes Sheila Duncan.
Shetland’s Got Talent 2012 was organised by the Shetland Relay for Life committee as a pre-fundraiser for the Relay itself later this month.
With tickets selling out the morning they went on sale, the theatre was filled to capacity.
As the house lights dimmed, images of previous Shetland Relay for Life events were projected on the stage to the theme music for Britain’s Got Talent.
Cheeky chappies Jonny Polson and Bryan Peterson were the ideal comperes, arriving on stage to the theme tune from Minder and entertaining the audience between acts.
Judges Malcolm Younger, Jillian Isbister and Davie Gardner made their entrance and took up their seats at the front of the auditorium. Unlike the national version of the show, they had no buzzers, and as the night unfolded, it was clear that they were not needed.
The first act was Murray Arthur and pupil Keiran Fraser who took to the stage to do battle on the drums. Keiran had misunderstood Murray’s instruction to turn up in a suit – he wore an Up Helly Aa suit – but held his own, regardless of his kirtle, to kick off the show with a bang.
Next up was the diminutive Lucy Simpson. At the tender age of 13, this was her first time singing with a microphone, but her confidence grew as she sang sweetly her way through the song Smile.
More singing, but also some drama was provided from Sandwick duo Jenny Watt and Sam McCormack, who brought their theatrical experience forward to tackle the song Money from Cabaret.
No strangers to Shetland stages, Aestaewast, dressed for the occasion in boilersuits and rubber boots. Some may have guessed what was coming. They started by singing Shosholsa, then, with smiles on their faces, stepped up the pace and treated the audience to some gumboot dancing.
Next up, also from Sandwick, came Peter Keay playing acoustic guitar and singing his original song entitled Goodbye, which he dedicated to his granny who recently passed away after losing her battle with cancer – a poignant and heart felt performance.
Elsbeth Clark now lives in Yell, but her Whalsay roots were clear and very much part of her act. Elsbeth put her own words to She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain to explain the “passion killing” effect that the all-in-one night time attire Da Wansie has.
Accompanied by David Gear on guitar and dressed in a tiger print wansie, Elsbeth herself wore a pink wansie, only to remove this to reveal a Fair Isle wansie underneath. She had the audience singing along with her highly comical act.
At this point our comperes took it upon themselves to do their own performance of Lady In Red, sung to Jillian Isbister, who was looking particularly glamorous in her red satin dress.
Perhaps Bryan’s singing skills are not quite a match for Chris De Burgh, but it was enough to ensure that Jillian made her way on to the stage for a dance with Jonny. She was quick to head back to her judges seat however, when it appeared Jonny was dropping down onto one knee!
Blasting their way through original song Hit The Gas, the task of closing out the first half of the show fell to rock band Hoygir. Despite admitting they were still recovering from a gig in Da Wheel the previous night, they provided a competent performance and added to wide variety of acts on show.
After the break, the audience were treated to relatively newly formed group Tasty Little Fish. The boys, all in their early teens, had designed their own T-shirts for the event (which a number of their supporters were also wearing) and rocked their way through Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love to get the second half off to a great start.
While the stage was being cleared for the next act, Jonny took the opportunity to go out among the audience for a yarn. Purely by chance he managed to pick out Jillian Isbister’s mother, as well as taking time to speak to his own granny.
His standard question to the female audience members and some of the contestants of: “Are you single” received a variety of amusing responses.
And then for something completely different! Garnering perhaps the biggest audience response of the night, father and son duo Lynden and Logan Nicolson arrived on stage dressed in black leggings, shorts, sleeveless T-shirts and fetching red lipstick!
They then guided the audience through 100 years of film via the medium of quick, change mime.
Although Lynden indicated that they had only spent “a couple of hours” on preparation for this act, given his wife (who was in the audience) was expecting his time to be better spent on putting in a new kitchen, it was clear that many more hours had been spent making up the numerous cardboard cut-outs required to pull off this very original act.
Marlene Williamson, who had already performed as part of Aestaewast, returned to the stage daringly dressed in black fishnet tights, leaving Jonny Polson rather lost for words. She gave us a rendition of Mein Herr from Cabaret, accompanied only by her backing track and a Garrison chair.
Next came duo Eamonn Watt and Joseph McCormack, who were also returning to the stage for a second performance, given they are both members of Hoygir, to perform a cover of Gorillaz’ Feels Good Inc on cajone, guitar and vocals. Their musical talents shone through on their arrangement of the song, with Joseph giving a strong vocal performance.
More strong vocals came from Natalie Moffat and Lisa Johnson, accompanied by Jordan Ogg on guitar, who overcame their nerves for some lovely harmonies on their version of Old Crow Medicine Show’s Wagon Wheel.
Last, but certainly not least were dance group Inferno Street Dance. Instructed by gymnasts Mark Wylie and Jenny Teale, they were aged from 8 to 14.
Unfortunately one of the group members fell ill on the night and had to leave before their performance, which meant they had to hastily rearrange their act in the car park outside. The show must go on though, and this young group managed just that.
Their act started on a darkened stage, with each of the dance troupe lighting a glow stick, which they used to great effect before the house lights came up and some energetic street dancing followed, punctuated with a short section which saw one of the dance troupe mimic a jewellery box ballerina.
The judges had a near impossible task in deciding the top three acts, but after much deliberation, it was Lynden and Logan, Natalie and Lisa and Inferno Street Dance that made it through.
The three then all performed again, with added pyrotechnics, before it was left in the hands of the audience to decide on the winner by voting with their cash, as buckets were passed for each act in turn amongst them.
While the money was being counted, the 2010 Shetland’s Got Talent Winner Kevin Stove reprised his dance act, and then the comperes took to the stage with Jillian Isbister and Sheila Henderson providing a few songs until the winner was decided.
Any of the acts would have been a worthy winner, but the audience ensured that it was Inferno Street Dance who walked away with the title and prize money. The group will now perform at the Relay itself on 26 May.
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