Anna Bergman to appear in Concert for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity

Anna Bergman

Anna Bergman is coming to London February 10th – will appear with “Mr Bean”! Read more:

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New York based chanteuse Anna Bergman is to appear in a charity concert 100 Hearts for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Charities on February 10th. This particularly caught my eye, not only because I admire Bergman’s work, but my mother met and nursed my father, suffering from tuberculosis, back to health at the Harefield Hospital – and look what happened there!

The event, hosted by Clive Anderson, is billed as “an event where art and science meet”, and includes comedy, music and readings from Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis, Tim McInnerny and other actors, musicians and writers as well as former patient and poet Lord Grey Gowrie, and the Harefield’s director of heart and lung transplantation André Simon. The evening will be raising funds to buy more Organ Care Systems for Harefield Hospital and Simon will demonstrate how they work on the night.

Bergman’s connection to the show is that a London-based friend came to see her performance at Crazy Coqs last year and brought officials of the charity. They immediately invited her to take part, and she is particularly excited to be performing with “Mr Bean” and “Marvin, the Paranoid Android” from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

What will you be singing and how did you choose your programme?
“I haven’t finalised the programme yet, but I’m thinking of singing Tonight from Bernstein and Sondheim’s West Side Story, a lovely medley  including Rogers and Hart’s Falling In Love With Love, a little known song It’s Easy to Remember and Michel Le Grand’s I Will Wait For You. I’m also going to include the beautiful Puccini aria from La rondine, Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (The Beautiful Dream of Doretta).
Given the nature of the charity, I thought I’d choose all songs that awaken the heart.”

I asked her how she gets work and she is both refreshingly relaxed and philosophical:
“It’s best not to force anything, but to be open to possibilities. I take inspiration from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (Swiss-American psychiatrist author of On Death and Dying, where she espouses her theory on the five stages of grief) who invites us to expect miraculous experiences.

“Much of my work comes from people seeing me in something and that leads to further requests.”

Lately, her career seems to be pulling back into acting in straight plays:

“I’ve just finished working on a play reading with Sam Waterstone (Newroom) of George Bernard Shaw’s Don Juan in Hell, which has been great fun. I seem to be moving back into acting, so I’m delighted this piece has had requests to encore it at various theatres.

“I’ve particularly learned from working in cabaret where there is no 4th wall. The special connection you get with the audience, seeing them laugh or cry has been profound and life-changing. It will enrich whatever direction I take artistically.”

Do you have any new projects on the horizon?
“I will be touring the show I did at Crazy Coqs last year – You’re All The World To Me:
A World Tour in Love Song, and I hope to return to the UK with a show celebrating Viennese operetta and how that genre was to inspire and shape Broadway musicals.”

That show, I am sure, will be well worth the wait.

More information on the RBH charity performance is available here – http://rbhcharity.org/100-hearts/

Fiona-Jane Weston

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About Fiona Jane Weston

I am Fiona-Jane Weston and as well as being a performer myself (see website), I write reviews of and features on shows, mainly on the London cabaret and theatre scene. I have worked in theatre for many years, but decided to embark on a new direction in cabaret in 2009, when I produced 20th Century Woman: The Compact Cabaret. Not wanting to neglect my love of spoken word, particularly drama and verse, I made the conscious decision to include these elements in the programme, as well as wonderful songs, to tell the story of women's changing status and preoccupations throughout the 20th Century and up to now. I was invited to audition for the renowned Cabaret Conference at Yale, run by the late legendary Erv Raible, and that was thrilled to be one of only 26 accepted that year, where I was taught by the masters of the genre. Amanda McBroom (composer of the Bette Middler hit "The Rose" and the poignant "Errol Flynn"), Laurel Massé, original member of Manhattan Transfer, Sally Mayes, Tony Award nominees Sharon McNight and Tovah Feldshuh, and New York cabaret veteran Julie Wilson were all on the faculty. We were also treated to the musical direction of Alex Rybeck, Hubert Tex Arnold and the now late Paul Trueblood. With the benefit of their insightful teaching and great encouragement, I took my show to The Duplex in New York, where I was delighted with the response. Since then, I have produced Loving London: The Capital Cabaret, using the same format of songs, poetry and drama, in various London venues, including Leicester Square Theatre and The Crazy Coqs. 2014, the centenary of World War 1, saw the launch of Wartime Women: the Khaki Cabaret to a sellout house at St. James Theatre, London, garnering great notices, including from The Times and Musical Theatre Review. I have since been touring the show to Belgium and throughout the UK. I hope these reviews and interviews entertain and educate at the same time, and if please do leave comments in the box. It's great to engage in a conversation about the Arts. Fiona-Jane Weston
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