Some of the West End’s biggest stars, including John Owen-Jones and Louise Dearman, brought festive cheer to Signature Senior Lifestyle’s 13 care homes across London and the Home Counties with a special virtual performance.
The pioneering 75 minute musical theatre performance, which was pre-recorded in a studio and streamed into the homes on Monday 21st, included a varied blend of songs chosen by residents, from classic West End shows, golden oldie music and Christmas jingles. While bringing joy to the residents of the care homes, the initiative also provided a creative outlet for the stars during a time when conventional performances have been off the cards due to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown.
The all-star ‘Signature’ line-up included John Owen-Jones, one of the West End’s most respected leading men – the youngest person to ever play the lead role of Jean Val Jean in Les Misérables and known for playing The Phantom of The Opera in the West End more than any other actor.
He joined Louise Dearman who has one of the best voices in musical theatre, having played roles such as Grizabella in Cats, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and the title role of Evita in Evita. She made history when she was the first woman to ever play both leading roles of Elphaba and Glinda in the smash hit Wicked.
With a track record that includes West Side Story, Bombay Dreams, Rock of Ages and most recently Disney’s Aladdin, Stephen Rahman-Hughes will bring his incredible voice into the care homes, also recognisable from roles in Emmerdale and EastEnders.
Completing the line-up is Cassidy Janson, fresh off winning Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2020 Olivier Awards for her role in & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Cassidy has appeared in Chess in Chess opposite Michael Ball, The Man of La Mancha with Kelsey Grammer, also storming the stage as Carole King in the musical Beautiful which led to her playing Hyde Park with Carole King herself.
John Owen-Jones, comments: “As performers, we can’t help but love what we do, so after this strange old year it’s nice to be able to do what we love for people wo we know will love it. We have spent the year unable to do our jobs, so to be able to perform again is amazing – and to be able to perform for this audience makes it all the more worthwhile and special.”
This is the latest in a number of pioneering initiatives from Signature Senior Lifestyle to ensure its residents remain happy, healthy and connected. Previous events have included weekly virtual shopping trips and a stand out ‘Knickerbocker Glory Challenge’ competition streamed on Facebook Live with 2016 MasterChef Winner Jane Devonshire.
Simon Dickinson, sales & brand director at Signature Senior Lifestyle, comments: “This has been an extremely challenging year for all so we are delighted to be able to have some of the West End’s biggest names coming together to create this unique performance for our residents, their families and friends. Christmas can traditionally be an isolating or lonely time for many people, so we are working hard to ensure we bring joy into our homes in as many creative ways as possible.
“The arts are vital to a healthy and balanced society so it is also a privilege to be able to provide an outlet for these stars during a time when the industry has faced widespread challenges in the face of the pandemic.”