2 December – Standing Room Only at Stand Up Comedy
There was standing room only in the Masonic Hall on Reading Road, that hosted Day 2 of the Living Advent Calendar. The audience was treated to a funny festive stand-up from the Honk Comedy Night, starring Leah Davis.
Plenty of laughter and smiles filled the room at Leah’s material which included comments and views on the Masonic Hall, Henley and even shopping at Lidl and married life.
Stand-up comedy is a new genre of performance for the LAC and something that Richard Rodway, Chair of the Henley Living Advent Calendar, is passionate about. Richard said, “Tom Ryan, is a friend of the Henley Living Calendar, and as the organiser for the Honk Comedy, this was an ideal opportunity for both parties to come together.”
Tom Ryan relished the collaboration with HLC and following Leah’s performance, led everybody into a ‘sing-song’ that included audience participation in a Henley version of the “12 days of Christmas”, whereby everybody sang along enthusiastically.
Tonight’s event was sponsored by Martina Swinburn Counselling and all funds raised were to support the Bishopwood Special School
3 December – Holly Jolly Bublé
Night 3 of the Living Advent Calendar saw the return of one of the event’s favourite performers, Marc Hockley. In the cosy setting of Phyllis Court, the singer (who appeared under his stage name, Mike All Bublé) entertained a packed room of people with music by the ‘King of Christmas music’, Michael Bublé.
The set opened with the classic, ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’, before moving on to Marc’s favourite song, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’. ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ followed, during which Marc told the audience, “You’re so quiet and well behaved, I can hear myself snapping!”
Spectators enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies as Marc sang through ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Something Stupid’, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, and ‘The Christmas Sweater’. Marc ended his performance with a rendition of ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’, declaring to the crowd, “I hope you enjoyed the mince pies! I got some earlier, I got in early because last year you ate them all!”
Richard Rodway introduced Marc by saying, “We are treating you tonight, Henley. We have an absolutely fantastic performer for you – such a diverse, talented performer. Any Ted Lasso fans in the room? Most recently you might have spotted him as part of Nate’s West Ham United backroom team (that’s the only time you’ll ever hear me say anything bordering positive about West Ham)!”
The charity for night three was Alzheimer’s Dementia Support, and Orchard House were the sponsor.
4 December – Dominick the Donkey
Despite the wet weather, the terrace at The Angel on the Bridge was packed for day four of the LAC. The audience were treated to as always the best refreshments on the LAC circuit with turkey baps and warm Pimms.
Jonny Be Good was the surprise performer who entertained the audience opening with I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles, followed by Rockin Around the Xmas Tree. Richard Rodway then joined Jonny for a hilarious Italian Godfather skit to introduce Dominick the Donkey. Jonny encouraged the audience to join in with the hee-haw parts which went down a storm. To finish the set Jonny performed That’ll Be the Day, Merry Christmas Everybody andWe Wish You a Merry Christmas. He finished the set with Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon which he dedicated to the people involved in wars in Ukraine and Gaza and changed the lyrics to War ain’t Over.
Jonny said, “I’m amazed that the number of people who have come out tonight. It’s fantastic turnout. I seriously thought about staying at home tonight myself. I love doing the LAC because it is a good cause for charity and Richard is a great organiser.”
The charity for the evening was The Chiltern Centre and the sponsors were Copas who provided the turkey and Lawlors Bakers the baps.
For all information on the Living Advent Calendar please visit https://www.livingadventcalendar.co.uk/calendar-539.html
Tonight (5 December) is at d:two in Market Place with the charity being the Henley Debt Centre.