THE Lord Mayor rapping on stage is not something any showgoer expects to see.
But that was what a packed audience at Portsmouth Guildhall was treated to last night as the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Steven Wylie, was invited to join Irish rap group Abandoman.
The performance was one of many comedic highlights of the ‘Evening of Stuff and Nonsense’, which was aimed at raising awareness and funding research into Parkinson’s.
There were plenty of belly laughs as the audience enjoyed performances from Harry Hill, Tim Vine, Katherine Ryan and Portsmouth-born comedy sketch-writer Max Olesker, who organised the event.
After a rap was concocted in his honour, Cllr Wylie said: ‘It’s great.
‘Who would ever have thought they would see the Lord Mayor rapping?’
He said it was a very worthy cause.
‘It shows Portsmouth does care and wants to help this charity,’ he added.
Enjoying the show was former Royal Navy sailor Nigel Ayling, 51, from Gosport, who is part of Portsmouth’s working age Parkinson’s support group.
He said: ‘We want to send the message that Parkinson’s is real and affects all ages.
‘It’s frustrating for me. I was a very fit field gunner. Nothing was too much trouble, but now everything is a challenge.
‘People think Parkinson’s is an old person’s disease and it’s not.’
Sue Evans, 50, from Southampton, came to support her sister Gillian Cuenca, from Portsmouth, who is 57 and was diagnosed five years ago.
She said: ‘The films they had were very moving.
‘It’s recognising that every little thing is such a challenge, but you just have to get on with it.’
Max’s father Stuart Olesker, from Southsea, said the show could raise around £8,000 for charity.
‘It was packed,’ he said.
‘We sold over 1,000 tickets and all that is fundraising for Parkinson’s research.
‘I’m particularly delighted that everyone has had a good time.’