Musical tribute to soldier dad receives a standing ovation

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A FUNDRAISING night in memory of a soldier who died in Afghanistan has raised more than £900 for Help for Heroes in just one night.

Lucy Rees-Blanchard organised a musical show in memory of her father, Sapper William Blanchard who died in October last year.

Lucy, 19, from Locks Heath, is a former performing arts student at Fareham College and she decided to organise a show to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Sapper Blanchard, 39, a soldier in the Territorial Army, was shot while defusing a roadside bomb in the Nahr-e Saraj North area of southern Afghanistan.

The show, called A Night At The Musicals, was held at the college in Bishopsfield Road in Fareham last night and was sold-out.

After the show, Lucy said: ‘I was so nervous before. But it was amazing. I just don’t know how to put it into words.’

Lucy paid thanks to all her friends who spent weeks rehearsing and putting the show together.

‘I am so grateful,’ she said.

‘It means so much to me and my family. I am so pleased they put on a good show.

‘I always used to like the musical shows here and my dad always used to come and watch them.

‘Hopefully he would be really proud of me. My family loved it, they thought it was amazing.’

Around £900 was raised in ticket sales alone, while more money was collected at the door.

The show featured songs from some of the world’s most popular musicals including Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon.

Students both past and present took part in and created the show, which they had spent weeks rehearsing for – and the standing ovation from the audience at the end proved that all the hard work had paid off.

Marc Fairclough, drama lecturer at the college, said: ‘I thought they did really well, considering they only had a few weeks.

‘They picked the songs and found all the music. It’s all been done 100 per cent by the students.’

Due to popular demand, another show has been organised for tonight.

Tickets cost £6 for adults and £4 for under-12s and are available by calling 01329 815264 or emailing boxoffice@fareham.ac.uk.

Tickets will also be for sale on the door.