Genuine and heart-felt tribute

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Over The Rainbow (The Eva Cassidy Story)

Kings Theatre, Southsea

Sarah Jane Buckley appeared as Eva Cassidy in the award-winning musical Over The Rainbow (The Eva Cassidy Story) tonight at the Kings Theatre, Southsea.

The show told the story of the American singer’s childhood, her first gig at 18 years old, and her first meeting with her boyfriend Chris Biondo. Finally the production ends with her tragic death from cancer at the age of 33.

Actors Sarah Jane Buckley (Hollyoaks), Maureen Nolan (The Nolan Sisters), and Brian Fortuna (Strictly Come Dancing) starred in the show that paid a genuine and heartfelt tribute to a true artist, who was not interested in fame and fortune, but someone who just wanted to create beautiful music. This was told and felt throughout the performance.

Fields Of Gold, Songbird and Over The Rainbow are perhaps some her more memorable songs, all performed beautifully by the talented Buckley this evening. I was genuinely surprised by her exceptional voice.

Jonathan Parker, playing Chris Biondo, was also worthy of mention, for great all-round acting and musical talent, Autumn Leaves being a highlight.

A strong cast of talented individuals, and a thought-provoking evening.

DEBORAH CROKER