Archive | February 2015

Preview: Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

It certainly is a small world. Quite extraordinary whom one can meet by chance, when travelling far from home.

Ken Scott and I are currently enjoying an epic adventure on board the Silver Shadow cruise ship, circumnavigating South America. On this two month Grand Voyage from Fort Lauderdale,Florida, we sailed via Key West through the Panama Canal south to Ecuador, Peru, Chile, to the other British isles – the Falkland Islands – and north again to Uruguay and then the Parisian-inspired, tango dancing city of Buenos Aires.

Joining the ship here as we set sail towards Brazil was a guest entertainer, Sarah Chandler, a charming young British Saxophonist. Her stylish, sassy, show attracted a large audience for her repertoire of jazz classics such as Sway and Stranger on the Shore.

Sarah on the pool deck of the Silver Shadow in Rio.

Sarah on the pool deck of the Silver Shadow in Rio.

While in Rio during the Carnaval weekend, we met Sarah for a chat over cool cocktails on the Pool Deck. 92F in the shade! Her internationally renowned professional career on board cruise ships began around seven years ago. While appearing in a production of Calamity Jane in Margate, she heard by sheer chance that P & O cruises were urgently requiring a Sax player to replace an injured musician.

Sarah was soon jetting off from the south of England to Barbados to embark on the Arcadia for a Caribbean voyage. This was the start of a successful career both on land (Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall) and at sea across the globe. (Silversea, P&O, Cunard, Carnival and Holland America).

She studied the saxophone, piano, cello, flute and clarinet, graduating from Canterbury University with a Masters in composition and BA in music performance. Performing the alto and soprano sax is her true passion, blending a repertoire of jazz, classical, pop and funk.

An exciting and innovative venture has been Sarah’s recent creation of a female Sax band, Saxation. This quirky quartet presents a lively, tightly choreographed show. Although established in 2014, they have already performed on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.

The good news is that you don’t have to board a ship to see Saxation on stage. Sarah together with her super sax players, Claire McGarahan, Stacy Docherty and Sophie Burk are appearing in Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh from 8-11 April.

The Saxation Girls

The Saxation Girls

Allan Stewart is perhaps best known to Edinburgh audiences for his brilliant portrayal as Dame in the annual Pantomime over the Festive season. The Variety show will also feature his fellow panto stars, Grant Stott and Andy Gray, comedians, Kev Orkian and Jo Caulfield, the McRoberts Brothers and a classic Big Band.

You may wonder why and how Saxation are invited to take part in Allan Stewart’s Variety show. Flash back to 2007 when “little Sarah” was experiencing her debut on the Arcadia; a certain Allan Stewart was on board performing his comedy and music cabaret, in which Sarah was a backing singer. Another serendipitous moment, and they have worked together many times since.

Sarah disembarked on the third day in Rio to fly off to Peru to join another cruise ship. But in six weeks or so, she will be heading to Edinburgh with the three other Saxation girls to strut their stuff on the King’s Theatre stage. Having seen Sarah’s solo show on the Silver Shadow, and also the You Tube video of Saxation quartet, this is sure to be a glamorous, sexy, super-Saxy performance. Catch them if you can.!

Show times King’s Theatre –
Wed 8 to Sat 11 April 2015.
Evenings 7.30pm, matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm.
Age – 12+