Siblings Henry and George Barnard stole the show and received a much-deserved standing ovation after wowing the crowd at a comedy and music spectacular for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The talented pair performed the Oasis classic, Don’t Look Back in Anger, after teaming up with EACH Music Therapist Ray Travasso for Happy Christmas Ipswich 4, at the town’s Regent theatre on Monday.
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 and one of the highlights has been sessions with music therapist Ray.
Henry is a drummer while his brother sings and plays the guitar. They brought the house down with their performance just before the interval.
“It was so exciting,” said Henry, who, along with his brother, had earlier been filmed rehearsing and then interviewed by ITV News Anglia.
“I didn’t really feel nervous and enjoyed looking out into the audience and seeing all those people watching me. There were so many faces and lights and it was such a great experience.”
The boys were watched by proud parents Claire and Paul and introduced onto the stage by legendary actress Dame Joanna Lumley.
After their performance, the audience got to watch a short, specially-commissioned film about their music therapy and experiences with EACH.
The brothers then returned to the stage along with the all-star cast for a festive finale, joining the audience to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
George, 12, said: “It was the experience of a lifetime and not many people will have the chance to do what we did.
“It’s so great that the show raised such a lot of money for EACH.”
Ray said he and the boys were made to feel like “superstars”.
“Everyone was incredibly kind and lovely to us,” he said.
“We were well looked after and it was such a stress-free and happy occasion.
“I’ll honestly always remember it as one of my best-ever days working for EACH.”
Happy Christmas Ipswich 4, organised by and starring patron Griff Rhys Jones, raised a staggering £133,200 and featured the likes of Dame Joanna, Dara Ó Briain, Rob Brydon and Rick Wakeman, as well as 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.
To read more about the show, click here.
Happy Christmas Ipswich 4 was kindly supported by joint-headline sponsors The New Homes Group and Johnston Quarter Ltd.