Since December 2011 when the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus packed out the Brighton Dome with their pre-Christmas show ‘Pull a Cracker’ featuring EastEnders actress June Brown and local comedian Zoe Lyons, membership of the chorus has soared from under 50 to over 80 gay and gay friendly men singers.
The chorus found fame when they appeared on the BBC1’s Last Choir Standing in 2008 and have been performing to full houses ever since.
Last year’s pre-Christmas show took place on a Sunday evening in December and unexpectedly packed out the Dome, selling over 1600 tickets and raising a total of £5143.66 for the choirs chosen charity, The Sussex Beacon. The choir which is itself a registered charity, aims to support local charities as well as promoting the study, practice and public performance of choral music.
Adam Betteridge, Chorus Trustee, said:
“As so many new members have joined this year we may actually need to start thinking about finding a new rehearsal venue – just so we can fit everyone in! To think that last Xmas we had around 40 members performing at the Brighton Dome on what is often just a quiet Sunday evening slot. This year there are nearly double the number of Chorus members’ performing on stage, and we feel particularly honoured to have been granted a headline Saturday evening slot by the Dome in such a busy week running up to Xmas. Apparently there was a fair amount of competition for it!”
The choir will be celebrating Christmas with a collection of yuletide favourites together with a fresh selection of rock and pop classics. They will be joined on stage by West End star Rosie Ashe, who has appeared in several West End shows including Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.
Profits from the evening will again be supporting the work of The Sussex Beacon, a dedicated HIV centre offering specialist care to men and women living with HIV.
The popularity of the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus has risen as the choir’s audience has diversified. Fans now include many heterosexual couples and families as well as their long term supporters and friends from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered (LGBT) communities.
Screen legend June Brown, best known as the iconic Dot from Eastenders and Patron of the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, said:
“Last year’s pre-Christmas performance blew me away and I am sure that the 30 or so new voices will make this year’s ‘Pull a Cracker’ show even more impressive. I can’t think of a better way to kick start the festive season while raising money for such a worthy cause as The Sussex Beacon”.
Simon Dowe, CEO for The Sussex Beacon, said:
“Without help and support from organisations like Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus we simply wouldn’t be able to run our vital services. Thank you from all our staff, volunteers and most importantly our service users”.
This year Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus is performing it’s pre-Christmas ‘Pull a Cracker’, show on Saturday, December 15 at 7.30pm (doors open at 6.45pm) at the Brighton Dome. Tickets cost £18, £15 and £10 (£16, £13 and £8 concessions).
To book tickets online view:
Event: Pull a Cracker
Where: The Brighton Dome
When: Saturday, December 15
Cost: £18, £15 and £10 (£16, £13 and £8 concessions)