An evening of songs by Flanders and Swann was expertly performed by Simon Woodhead and Joe Laredo on Tuesday 4th June as part of StonyLive. It was an evening of great warmth and humour, as they conjured up memories of the famous song writing duo who met at Westminster School where they gave their first performance together (Go to it) in 1940 and later collaborated with At the Drop of a Hat.
Joe and Simon explained that with so many songs to choose from, they had a hard time deciding what to leave out!
In the end, this was the programme they settled on:
- I’m a gnu
- The gas man cometh (with audience participation for the refrain)
- The Ostrich
- Madeira my dear
- The Whale
- Robert Frost's poem - Stopping by Woods
- The Rhinoceros (with audience participation for the refrain)
Interval (with wine, juice, maderia cake and mud, mud, glorious mud slices)
- Ill Wind - Mozart - Horn concerto (the missing French horn)
- The warthog
- Design for living
- In the bath (with audience participation for the refrain)
- Slow train (a meditation on 'progress')
- The Hippopotamus (with audience participation for the refrain)
Simon's rich baritone worked beautifully with Joe's expressive piano playing. They introduced each song with anecdotes to give the background or reasons for choosing the piece, with plenty of pathos and comedy throughout (in which their page turner had a cameo role for the missing French horn!).
All the Music for All @ SMSG events for StonyLive week are raising funds for the disabled access fund at the church, at the beginning of the concert Simon explained that this was especially appropriate as Michael Flanders spent many years of his life as a wheelchair user after contracting polio.
Thank you Simon and Joe for a memorable and very entertaining evening of Flanders and Swann, for StonyLive week.
Words and photos by Anna Page