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Thanks to the Seagull Theatre

PUBLISHED: 14:48 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:15 06 July 2010

A HUGE thank you to the Seagull Theatre for a fantastic evening.

I was lucky to attend a performance of God Bless the Child - An Evening with Billie Holiday, on September 19.

A HUGE thank you to the Seagull Theatre for a fantastic evening.

I was lucky to attend a performance of God Bless the Child - An Evening with Billie Holiday, on September 19.

It was an incredible and moving performance. Katrina Beckford, who played Ms Holiday, along with the trademark gardenia in her hair, was supported by a very talented jazz pianist. We were transported back in time to a shabby, smoky room with just a table and chair.

It was a heartfelt trip through Billie's life; her humble beginnings in Baltimore through to the high life in the jazz clubs of 1930's Harlem.

The song selection was appropriate to this sorry tale of abuse, drugs and alcohol. I loved the way Ms Beckford interacted with the audience, both with spoken word and the songs she sang. She made us laugh with tales of Billie at the House of Good Shepherd

where she was sent aged nine.

Life was not all laughs though for Ms Holiday and Ms Beckford portrayed this with such poignancy - especially when she sang

Strange Fruit (this song is about the lynching of African Americans in the south). It was originally a poem written by a Jewish high school teacher from the Bronx about the lynching of two black men.

Miss Brown To You, My Man and God Bless The Child, were just a few of the songs included in this one woman show.

I have no criticisms of this performance - I would liked to have heard more songs, but that's just me being greedy.

Katrina Beckford is a rising and shining star and I would like to say thank you very much for a throughly enjoyable evening.

JULIE NEAL

Lowestoft

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