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The Neasden Queen of Soul (minus beehive)
Published 22/04/14

MOST people will remember Mari Wilson as the pop star with the voluminous beehive back in the Eighties, writes Lesley Potter.

Indeed the bird’s nest on her head was so huge as to make Amy Winehouse’s imitation look like a school marm’s bun.

Now older, wiser but still singing, Mari Wilson is coming to the Kenton Theatre in Henley for a date in June — and she is offering a free glass of champagne with every full-price ticket.

Mari Wilson first made it on the music scene more than 30 years ago with the 1982 hit Just What I Always Wanted.

This was followed by five other hit singles including Cry Me A River, taken from her hit album Showpeople. Quite apart from her beehive, she became known for her outrageous outfits and 12-piece band The Wilsations.

In spring 2012 Mari released Cover Stories, a new studio album funded by fans through Pledge Music. For the album, Mari teamed up with orchestrator, composer and pianist Simon Hale to record some of her favourite songs.

She said: “I’ve never made an album of covers before and thought it was about time.”

Mari starred as Dusty Springfield in Dusty The Musical which toured the UK for seven months in 2000. She also appeared with Boy George in the West End musical Taboo and has written a one-woman musical, The Love Thing.

In her Kenton show Mari, known as the Neasden Queen of Soul, will perform hits old and new. She is known for her entertaining live shows, combining popular music with lots of costume changes and storytelling.

Mari Wilson is at the Kenton Theatre on Saturday, June 7 at 8pm. For tickets go to www.kentontheatre.co.uk or call (01491) 575698.

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To book tickets go to www.kentontheatre.co.uk, call (01491) 575698 or go to the Kenton Theatre on New Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 2BP. The box office is open Monday to Friday 11am-3pm, Saturday 10am-1pm, and for one hour before a performance.

PUBLISHED 22/04/14

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