Plenty of 'Wow' Factor in a great showcase for Carmarthenshire talent
There was plenty of the ‘Wow’ Factor at this wonderful showcase for the very best of Carmarthenshire talent.
The star appeal of Shân Cothi and Mark Llewellyn Evans is already well known and they more than lived up to top billing.
What is more of a secret (but not for much longer) in Carmarthenshire is the development of potential West End stars of the future.
A full house at Ffwrnes was the ideal opportunity to bring 16-year-old Coedcae pupil Daniella Difede and 17-year-old Ysgol y Strade head boy Samuel Morris to a wider audience.
The way they both shone made you think they’d been treading the boards for years, performing with a mature confidence and stage presence which captured the hearts of the Ffwrnes audience.
Daniella’s emotional rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables was followed by more songs from the shows from Samuel Morris, who took us through Music Of The Night from Phantom and Anthem from Chess.
Samuel, who will be playing Jean Valjean in a school production of Les Mis next year, pretty well nailed Stars and Bring Him Home from the show. Little wonder then that there was a letter of praise waiting for Samuel at the stage door from ‘Jean Valjean’ himself, John Owen Jones!
The evening was held together by Mark Llewellyn Evans, who doubled up as compere and soloist, giving us a treat by diverting from his usual operatic standards to love songs such as the Van Morrison classic Have I Told You Lately and Don’t Close Your Eyes.
Shân Cothi, meanwhile, dazzled in the way only Shân does, managing to sing in four different languages, English, Welsh, Czech and Italian and taking everyone on a musical journey which demonstrated her vocal talents to the full.
When Côr Meibion Llanelli joined Shân for Verdi’s La Vergine Degli Angeli it was one of those electric moments when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Thrilling and dramatic stuff.
Everyone knows that Shân loves her comedy moments. Her performance of Adele’s Laughing Aria from Die Fledermaus with John ‘Bach’ Morris of Côr Meibion Llanelli was one of the funniest things seen on the Ffwrnes stage. Just hope someone recorded it!
Côr Meibion Llanelli turned in an excellent performance throughout the evening, with a set list which include Yfory, Nant-y-mynydd, Moon River, Amen and Superstar. There were tears at bedtime when You’ll Never Walk Alone closed the show.
Gypsy jazz quarter Sipsi Gallois were wonderfully entertaining and the evening helped raised cash for Shân Cothi’s pancreatic cancer charity Justin Time.