A showstopping comedy and music spectacular has been hailed a “magical and unforgettable triumph” after raising more than £130,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
Happy Christmas Ipswich 4, spearheaded by and starring celebrity champion Griff Rhys Jones, featured a host of household names and took place at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre on Monday night.
Griff is an EACH patron and he raided his contacts book once again to put on a show featuring Dara Ó Briain, Dame Joanna Lumley, Gavin and Stacey favourite Rob Brydon and world-renowned keyboard player Rick Wakeman.
Others on a glittering bill included Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard, comedians Tessa Coates, Sooz Kempner and Kiri Pritchard-McLean, West End star Miriam-Teak Lee and the Suffolk Sinfonia orchestra.
The final total raised from the sell-out show was a record-breaking £133,200. Sales of raffle tickets and brochures alone raised nearly £9,000.
“What an amazing night – a magical and unforgettable triumph,” said EACH Director of Fundraising Kevin Clements.
“It was surely the best one yet and the line-up and money raised was incredible. The feedback as people were walking out of the auditorium was simply fantastic.
“There was a palpable sense of emotion in the audience and so much warmth generated towards all the acts and especially Griff.
“He puts on a truly unique show and we couldn’t be more appreciative or in awe of what he manages to achieve every year.
“We thank him so much and this money will make such a monumental difference to the children, young people and families receiving our care and support.”
Another main highlight on the night was a special performance by brothers Henry and George Barnard, who teamed up with EACH music therapist Ray Travasso for a special performance of the Oasis classic, Don’t Look Back in Anger.
Henry, ten, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness – and receives care at The Treehouse.
He and his family have been regular visitors there since he was two. The audience also watched a short film about the boys and their therapy sessions with Ray.
Griff described the talented siblings as “the real stars of the evening” and said the show had been “another cracker”.
To read more about Henry and George’s performance, click here.
Happy Christmas Ipswich 4 was kindly supported by joint-headline sponsors The New Homes Group and Johnston Quarter Ltd.