Sunday for Sammy 2016
Posted: 29 Feb 2016
Photos: Paul Millard
ghost of Brendan Healy loomed large – in the most benign way possible – over
this year’s Sunday for Sammy concert.
show started, fittingly, with a minute’s applause for the comic genius who,
along with Tim Healy, has been the glue that has traditionally held together
this bi-annual North East extravaganza.
event was launched in 2000 to celebrate the life of actor Sammy Johnson who
died in 1998 and to raise funds for upcoming talent in the region.
has been dubbed Newcastle’s Billy Connolly and his death earlier in February
could have cast a gloomy shadow over proceedings. Instead it added poignancy to
the time-honoured mix of sketches and songs that make this one of the most sought-after
tickets in the region.
stalwarts including Denise Welch, Charlie Hardwick, the Auf Wiedershen, Pet
gang and Lindisfarne’s Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell were joined this year by Stephen
Tompkinson, members of the cast from the TV series Hebburn and – for the grand
finale – Lindisfarne’s Ray Jackson.
was the perfect choice to lead the customary rendition of Run for Home – one of
his old band’s best-loved numbers – as the whole cast took to the stage at the
end of the three-hour set.
its length, the show never once flagged – a tribute to everyone who took part
as well as the organisers.
of the stand-out moments were:
cracking stand-up routine by Jason Cook, now one of the region’s biggest names
in comedy who got a leg-up from the Sunday for Sammy fund when
he was starting out
Halfpenny singing Natural Woman
Auf Wiedersehen, Pet sketch set in ancient Greece
Crosby belting out Proud Mary
Peverley as Bobby Thompson, the Little Waster
Mitchell and the Inspire Choir singing Lean on Me
Devine and Alice Quinn performing Sting’s Fields of Gold (followed by a filmed
clip of Sting giving his seal of approval)
Mock the Week sketch featuring a quick-fire round of contributions on things a
Geordie would never say (favourites: “When it comes to fake tan, I believe less
is more” and “I always thought the name Sports Direct Arena had a nice ring to
without Brendan, Sunday for Sammy looks set to be as firm a fixture of the
North East calendar as it ever was.
shows – one in the afternoon and another in the evening – always sell out fast,
but anyone missing out on a ticket can see all the action on DVD.
Windows in Newcastle carries DVDs from past shows and will stock this year’s as
soon as it is released.
0191 232 1356
of the stars of this year’s show feature in My North East by its Famous Sons
and Daughters – a full-colour coffee-table book featuring 58 North-Easterners (including
Brendan Healy) talking about the region and how it shaped their lives.
costs £17.99 and is available from JG Windows, bookstores and online at www.my-northeast.co.uk