Introducing some of the fantastic performers for our next Musical Theatre Evening:
An award winning broadcaster, currently presents BBC London 94.9fm’ Sunday Breakfast Show, Inspirit with Jumoké Fashola.
Time Out Magazine describes her as a “Head-spinningly versatile singer".
Jumoké appeared at the ‘Dionne Warwick & Friends’ Concert to raise awareness of the very first World Hunger Day. The concert starred the legendary Dionne Warwick; Natalie Cole; Elaine Paige; Simon Keenlyside; The Royal Ballet’s Steven McRae and the full orchestra of the Southbank Sinfonia.
She was the featured singer at the Gary Avis & Friends Benefit Gala at the Ipswich Royal Theatre with members of the Royal Ballet.In 2012 she appeared at the Royal Albert Hall for the 2012 World Hunger Day Concert alongside Cliff Richard, Boy George, Rumer, Joe McElderry and Alexandra Burke. She sang in Dominic Muldowney’s War Oratorio for Channel 4; Paco Peňa’s Requiem for the Earth (Royal Festival Hall); Orlando Gough’s, We turned On the Light for the BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall). She was part of the Southbank Overture weekend (the reopening event of London’s Royal Festival Hall); performed Snapshots at the Hayward Gallery, London & Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (libretto by Billy Bragg) for HM the Queen; and the Sandy Denny Tribute with Bellowhead at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. She appeared at the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London as part of the Wizard of Oz season. She was a featured artist at the Southbank Centre’s first WOW Festival. She played, ‘Mrs Mkize’ and was part of the ensemble cast of Kurt Weill’s musical Lost in the Stars. Directed by Jude Kelly, conducted by Charles Hazlewood with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She appeared in the Finale Chorus for the Lost and Found Orchestra production (by the creators of Stomp) at the Royal Festival Hall.She was part of the Leonard Bernstein ‘MASS’ at the Royal Festival Hall conducted by Marin Alsop. She has backed various artists including Manu Dibango, Mica Paris, All Saints (Brit Awards), PP Arnold & Gaz Coombes.
Jumoké Fashola has taken her unique blend of jazz, blues & dark edged soul to England, France, Finland, America and Brazil. As a soloist she has appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, London; sung Handel’s Messiah at the London Arena; was the featured soloist for A Celebration of Gershwin with the All Souls Orchestra at Wembley, supported Bobby McFerrin at Meltdown 09 and has appeared at various West-end jazz clubs, including Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express, Dean Street.
Jumoké's debut Album, The Condition of Being A Woman, was released in February 2014. Featuring her original material & unique interpretations of songs from Tim Sutton, Cole Porter, Fran Landesman & Wayne Shorter. With a touch of Afro Jazz, Blues and a sprinkling of good ole soul, London Jazz News described the album, “As warm, feisty and engaging as the woman herself. . . for pure, uncomplicated listening pleasure, this album comes strongly recommended.” BBC Radio Guernsey presenter Andrew Hislop described the album as “an impressive & cool album” while Peter Quinn gave it a 4 star review in Jazzwise Magazine describing Jumoké as a …A jazz vocalist who takes risks…”
She is the creator and host of the monthly Jazz Verse Jukebox at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London.
“. . .Hers is an essential vision of great songs from one of the ever-moving cultural frontiers of jazz”. London Jazz.
Verona originally from the West Country trained at The Royal Academy of Music, London and Trinity Laban. Verona lives in London with her actor husband Andrew Fettes.
No1 theatre includes the roles of Mrs Micawber David Copperfield opposite Norman Rossington and Alvin Stardust, Leah Jane Eyre opposite George Chakiris and Barbara Murray. These Foolish Things; Wind in the Willows; Additional stage work spans weekly repertory theatre for Charles Vance Productions, regional tours, festivals and fringe performances at The Donmar Warehouse and King’s Head Theatre, London plus the London New Play Festival.
Television in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe BBC, Marylin Monroe MTV and Nightclub Owner / singer in Pyar ki dhun a film by Samarjit Dasgupta and Janice in Auton in the BBC’s famous sci-fi series Dr Who directed by Nicholas Briggs plus commercials.
Christmas and pantomime roles for many years took Verona to the fabulous Hunstanton Theatre, Norfolk. As a singer she performed at the wonderful Thursford Extravaganza before it had warm backstage facilities!
She has also played Tai Foo in Aladdin at The Player’s Theatre dir. Richard Frost, Martha in A Christmas Carol at The Mermaid Theatre dir. Ron Pember and The Wicked Fairy for David Lee – Pantoni and Wicked Queen for Blue Star Productions.
Extensive touring with Sheherazade (voice, flute and harp) took performances to music clubs, societies and festivals. Also, The Purcell Room - South Bank and National Radio and Television and Classic FM. Touring engagements aboard The Minerva to Libya, Egypt, Cyprus and Sicily and she has sung in Iceland, France, Malta, Switzerland, Turkey, Barcelona and in a festival at the Kathmandu Conservatory – Nepal where she also gave workshops. She is keen to bring students from the school to take part in the London Mela 2015 (perhaps you can help)?
In 2005, Verona recorded Jail Break written by Humphrey Lyttelton for his Sad Sweet Songs and Crazy Rhythms album and performed at Ronnie Scott’s, 606 Club, Marlborough Jazz Festival; Ealing Jazz Festival; Sedbergh Festival; Jazz Bar Edinburgh; Spice of Life; Pizza Express and Bull’s Head, Barnes.
Fever, a Shakespeare inspired crossover jazz/ classical concept album featuring Verona and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians was released on 21 July 2010.
She is the vocal adviser to many accomplished / award winning singers and is a visiting consultant at the Central School of Speech and Drama where she has worked on Jerry Springer - The Opera; Edwin Drood; Guys and Dolls, City of Angels, Cabaret and Grease.
Students are currently / have performed in the West End in Stephen Ward, A Curious Incident, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, War Horse, Viva Forever and at the RSC and National theatres and Eastenders, Doctors, Game of Thrones etc.
In 2012 Verona has been a ‘Judges Expert’ for Tatiana Okupnik on X Factor, Poland where she eliminated candidates for the live finals and won with Dawid Podsiadio that year.
In 2013 she worked with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Maria Friedman wrkshopping musicals.
Also in 2013 she was invited to produce live performances and events for the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone including ‘A Night at the Opera’, a ‘Belle Epoch’ New Years Eve production and ‘Jungle Law’ her children’s show originally created for the London Borough of Ealing’s Children’s Festival.
In 2014, Verona toured with her new band the ‘Musical Balloon Band’ and performed at The Art’s Theatre, West End. She also joined Laughlines and Ed Wells re-creating the character of Sybil from Fawlty Towers.
Verona and her team at VampReVamp returned to the Landmark Hotel in 2014 with ‘A Night at the Musicals’ and a New Year’s celebration based on the film ‘ Moulin Rouge’ and they are delighted to be back ‘A Night at the Musicals’ 2015.
Simon trained at London Studio Centre. His work includes:
West End: Jim Davidson’s Sinderella (Cambridge Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Westminster Theatre) and Oh Camille! (Shaw Theatre)
Tours: Me and My Girl, Crazy For You, Salad Days, The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, The Danny La Rue Show (Birmingham Hippodrome), Hello Jerry! – a tribute to Jerry Herman, Annie starring Su Pollard (UK and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Seaside Special and Let’s Go Panto! staged by Alan Harding (Qdos Entertainment)
Rep: My Fair Lady, Annie (both with Bernie Nolan), A Bedfull of Foreigners, The Boyfriend, Me and My Girl, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Crazy For You and Oklahoma!
A founder member of the West End Singers, Simon this year appears as a Soloist in their acclaimed West End Songbook on UK National Tour.
Film/TV: Just Like a Woman with Julie Walters (Zenith), Sophia and Constance, Silent Witness (BBC), The Big and Bigger Breakfast (Channel 4) and CITV with Stephen Mulhern
He made his pantomime debut at Richmond Theatre with the stars of the Carry On films and this year Simon celebrates 31 consecutive years in panto! He provides all of his own costumes and features in the book, It’s Behind You! by Peter Lathan
Simon was delighted to return to The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill as Dame in Beauty and the Beast, last year, previously he played Dame ’Dolly’ Donut in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Director/Choreographer: The King and I, West End to Broadway, Tales from the Jungle Book and Goldilocks and the Three Bears (also played Muddles) for award winning Bluestar Productions
Concerts/Revue: Royal Albert Hall, London, West End Gala (Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham) and Les Follies de Paris (Swanson’s, Jersey)
Lucy Lavelle graduated from London School of Musical Theatre in 2011 where she gained valuable experience in their productions as 'Les Miserables', 'Bright Lights, Big City', 'Carmen' and 'Into the Woods' by Stephen Sondheim.
She went on to play the lead roles for Blue Star Productions in their London and touring shows playing Dorothy in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', Beauty in 'Beauty & the Beast' and the title role in 'Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs'.
In 2013 she joined the company at the Watermill Theatre, Bagnor to perform in 'Spring Seasonal Sauce', a Music Hall Variety show. She appears regularly in concert with the West End Singers and is a favourite performer at the Concert Artistes Association, West End.
Lucy is a sought after Principal Girl in Pantomime playing title roles in 'Cinderella' at the Kenneth Moore Theatre, Ilford; 'Sleeping Beauty' at the Middlesbrough Theatre near her hometown, Stockton and most recently 'Princess Amelia' in 'Jack & the Beanstalk' at The Lincoln Theatre Royal alongside Cannon & Ball. Lucy is delighted to be making her debut at The Landmark London.