Curtains up for charity variety show

Youngsters queue at the Kings to audition for a previous production, Cinderella

Panto auditions for young dancers to be held at Kings Theatre

A variety show showcasing some of the best local talent is being held to raise money for three charities.

It's curtains up for brothers Sam and James Westerby, who are the brains behind Portsmouth Does Variety.

The show takes place on Sunday, January 16, at the Kings Theatre, in Albert Road, Southsea, and the Gosport pair have been busy lining up a host of stars, who will perform on the night.

They include ex-Pompey and England football player Ray Crawford, Damon Scott, runner up in Britain's Got Talent, Norman Wisdom impersonator Glenn Ford and runner up on BBC1's How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? star Helena Blackman.

Sam, 32, has been working with his brother James for three months to organise the show.

Sam, of Cobden Street, Gosport, said: 'Ever since we were kids we have loved to entertain.

'And we both love this theatre. It's got so much history and the architecture, so that's why we have picked this place.

'We are selling tickets really cheap so hope to have a sell-out night, there will be something for everyone.'

Money raised from the evening will go to the theatre, Rowans Hospice and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

James, 30, said: 'We decided to fundraise for Rowans Hospice after reading about Dorothy's Dream in The News.

'We have chosen the Cystic Fibrosis Trust because it is one of the most common diseases people deal with in the UK.

'And thirdly we want to give some money back to the theatre because it is such a beautiful venue.'

The show starts at 6.30pm and runs until 9pm. After the show there will be a half-hour-question-and-answer session with some of the performers.

Amanda Mahoney, spokesman for Rowans Hospice, said: 'We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of this exciting event, which is a celebration of local talent.'

Sandra Smith, promotions manager at the theatre, added: 'We're very pleased and excited to be able to host this show.

'We are equally pleased that we will kindly receive money from the show.

'It will be used for the restoration of the upper circle bar and the ladies' facilities. We encourage people to come visit.'

Tickets cost 10 for adults and 12 for concessions. To buy tickets visit the theatre or call (023) 9282 8282.