AN OPERA singer, street dancers and a transvestite were among those who helped raise thousands of pounds for children’s charities.
Singer Jennifer Park Lomas, street dance troupe 2nd2none, Wez Sebastien, a star of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Rachel Sargent from Hairspray performed for hundreds of people at the annual Lord Mayor’s Gala on Monday.
The performers, plus ballet dancers from Giselle Academy and the Royal Naval Volunteer band of HMS Nelson, entertained a crowd of 750 at Southsea’s Kings Theatre.
Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor Cllr Paula Riches said: ‘It was amazing. They say Britain’s got talent – well Portsmouth’s got talent. The show was so well performed and so well received it’s hard to believe. I want to thank everyone for taking part and all those who came along.’
Cllr Riches, who steps down as the city’s Lord Mayor on May 17, organised the show in aid of her chosen charities Down’s Syndrome Education International (DownsEd) and Rock Challenge.
It’s estimated to have made more than £5,000 to be shared between the two.
She said: ‘I chose the charities because they’re for young people. One helps youngsters who maybe would have struggled to do well at school, and the other helps young people to get into performance working after school. It was great to see 2nd2none, the Giselle Academy and representatives from Rock Challenge there, as they are local young people and did a wonderful job.’
Organiser Cllr David Fuller was also delighted with the event.
He said: ‘It went really well. We have had lots of emails and responses from people saying how much they enjoyed it all.
‘We have to thank The Kings because they helped so much, including giving us £800 worth of lighting for £200, and also all the performers.
‘The ballet dancers were amazing, and Rachel Sargent was brilliant. She and her group came from Wales and paid all their own expenses.
‘It was lovely to see Jennifer Park Lomas, who was nervous before going on, but performed wonderfully. Thanks to everyone.’