SMACKEE is a group of very talented and unique individuals dedicated to the highest quality entertainment and widely recognised as England’s finest show-group.
Smackee – the UK’s Number One Showgroup England’s premier TV and Recording Showgroup – Barry Walker’s SMACKEE performs Abba Memories are Made of Hits and the Musicals – this scintillating production represents all that is best from one of the world’s most popular hit recording groups
Smackee on Musical Cruise through The Best of Broadway
England’s premier show group delights fans in Saunton Sands
By Stanley Carvalho
There was Eva Peron in her shimmering white gown and John Travolta with his inimitable hairstyle, long sideburns et al You had Olivier Newton John crooning, and Joseph and his amazing dream coat. There was the memorable Les Miserables, and the King and I. Interestingly there was also the evergreen Anifrida and Agnetha of Abba, and a host of others.
Billed as “The Musicals” England’s premier show group – Smackee, delighted music lovers recently with their musical melange at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon. Equally, their music evoked nostalgia as the group took guests on a musical cruise, so to speak, through some of the best Broadway and West End hits.
Indeed as someone commented after the show, “It brought a whiff of fresh air to starved music lovers of Devon. In a nutshell Smackee’s show was lively, dynamic, colourful, nostalgic and some of the best song and dance hits were brought to life by Barry Walker, Dawn Glenville and Margaret Barnes, of course accompanied ably by the musicians – Rob Mackenzie the lead guitarist, Tom Mollins on bass and Keith Liddle at the keyboards.
The opening number by Barry with his boyish spirit, a solo razzle dazzle set the mood and thereafter there was no stopping them as they sang and danced with un – flagging energy and panache as the audience clapped, swayed, sang and danced in unison with the stars on stage.
Remarkably, it was not just entertainment or show of talent, but a tribute to some of music’s legendary performers as the trio sang the best from Cabaret, Grease, Evita, The King and I, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph, Mamma Mia – a vast and impressive repertoire.
Dawn’s haunting rendering of Evita’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina amidst pin drop silence was splendid as was her – Life is a Cabaret. Later Barry and Margaret’s duet – All I Ask Of You from Phantom of the Opera took us all to His Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End.
Later, Barry’s solo of Nessun Dorma with English lyrics written by Neil Sedaka earned him a standing ovation.
The second part of the show was even more action packed as Barry and the girls sang some of the best Grease songs – including the all time favourite You’re the One That I Want and Grease Lightning. An appreciative audience responded over- whelmingly after listening to Getting To Know You and Shall We Dance, both from The King and I.
When Dawn and Margaret appeared in their dazzling blue costumes accompanied by the music of Waterloo, the audience screamed and whistled as they realised it was the turn of all the Abba hits. This was closely followed by the evergreen Thank You For The Music, after which it was time to stand and tell the stars just that – with thunderous applause.
Amidst cries of “encore” Barry sang his all time favourite Unchained Melody which put Gareth Gates to shame.
What is so commendable is the groups versatility and energy that makes them so popular world wide. gesticulations, especially his statue-like postures at times, were so perfect and well timed, that they could not fail to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
For nearly two hours, it was entertainment of the highest standard, with a touch of nostalgia, and no one was left in any doubt of the sheer class of this unique act. The sound and lighting was also of equal standing and one only hopes Smakee will be back, but for now “thank you for the music” and lets hope the show will go on!