Music from a national treasure

Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry
The Southsea Alternative Choir  Picture: Paul Windsor

REVIEW: The Southsea Alternative Choir The Southsea Cafe

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FOR many, Lenny Henry will always be the face of Comic Relief and, latterly, those pesky Premier Inn adverts.

But the man himself reveals a back catalogue that spans almost 40 years on stage, screen and recording studio. In his stand-up tour, Lenny Henry: From Cradle to Rave, which reached Southampton’s Guildhall on Friday, he charts his life as a series of musical interludes. It’s one of his most personal shows, and is built around the massive part music has played in his life. But also revealed is the fact that, until recently, he’s never learnt to play an instrument and this tour allows him to play the piano in front of a paying audience for the first time.

His energy on stage was infectious, and just hearing his Jamaican accent echoed those TV shows of his in the 80s and only increased the goodwill emanating from the seats towards the stage.

The audience was encouraged to go with the musical flow, and all in all it was a wonderful way to take a stroll down memory lane with one of Britain’s best-known comedy faces.

EMMA JUDD