YORKSHIRE’S Got Talent – Live! is NOT a contest, more a celebration of the best of the White Rose’s young dance, comedy and music performers, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, on Sunday.
“This weekend’s show isn’t actually a competition,” explains Nathan Lodge. “The competition happened in 2020 throughout lockdown and concluded last September last year with Edward (Ed) Atkin as the overall winner.
“During the online contest, the group on Facebook reached more than 4,000 followers and the final public vote for the winner had 1,378 votes.”
The competition was brought to life by York theatre student Hannah Wakelam, who wanted to raise money for the JoRo, where she first cut her performing teeth.
“There were three judges throughout the process,” says Nathan, a West End regular and cruise-ship vocal captain, from York. “Alongside me were Amelia Urukako, owner of Upstage Academy in Ripon, and Laura Pick, from Wakefield, who’s playing Elphaba in Wicked in the West End, all of us hailing from Yorkshire.”
The overall winner was decided by a combination of the judges, a public vote and a panel of theatre industry experts: Rachel Tucker, Kerry Ellis, Natalie Paris, Matthew Croke, Nicolas McClean and Paul Taylor-Mills.
“We promised the contestants who made the top 13 – the top ten plus three judges’ wildcards – that they could do a live show, so a year later, with a couple of date changes thanks to Covid!, we’re fulfilling our promise!”
Yorkshire’s Got Talent – Live features eight of the top ten acts from the competition: winner Ed Atkin, fellow finalists Fladam (Florence Poskitt and Adam Sowter) and Jordan Wright, plus contestants Sam Rippon, Daisy Winbolt-Robertson, Harvey Stevens, Florence Taylor and Richard Bayton.
“The evening will feature an eclectic mix of musical theatre, opera, comedy and dance, and we promise a thoroughly entertaining show, bursting with joie de vivre, from these stars of the future,” says Nathan.
The event will be hosted by Jordan Langford, from Scarborough, who will sing too. He had a career in musical theatre before becoming a theatre creative and is soon to study for an MA in contemporary directing practice at Rose Bruford College, London.
“Sadly, Laura Pick has a Sunday matinee schedule now in Wicked, post-Covid reopening, so she’s unable to perform with us but wishes she could,” says Nathan. “We’ll miss her!
“I’ll be performing in the evening, including singing a duet with winner Ed Atkin, who was my wildcard act to join the top ten of the competition. Just before the pandemic, I was the vocal captain performing on board M/S Color Fantasy.”
The band will be led by musical director Matthew Peter Clare on an evening when everyone will be giving their services for free. “Nobody is getting paid,” says Nathan. “Instead, all the profits from Sunday’s fundraiser will go to the Joseph Rowntree Theatre to add to the total raised by the competition last year.”
Tickets for the 7pm show are on sale on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.