MUSIC fans danced in the aisles at a show called Anything Can Happen Night hosted by radio presenter Mike Read.
By the end of Sunday’s show at the Kenton Theatre in Henley the sell-out audience was jump jiving to swing tunes.
The performers included Read, the Jive Aces, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band All Stars, Mike Hurst of the Springfields and Nettlebed singer-songwriter Rebecca Poole.
The former Radio 1 DJ started the show by inviting members of audience to turn up their mobile phones and not to worry about interrupting the performers.
“I’m really not sure what’s going to happen tonight,” he said.
He then performed a rock ’n’ roll medley which included Hello, Mary Lou.
Read told the Henley Standard: “No one wanted to open the show — no one ever does.
“I said that I would play something but I didn’t want anything pretentious. I said I didn’t know what we’d do but we’d start in E and go from there.
“Then we shouted out ‘let’s go to G’ and we kept climbing and were just singing whatever came along.” Read, who lives in Henley, said the audience soon got into the spirit of the unscripted show.
He said: “It is a wonderful musical marathon but the idea of the evening was not to allow the audience to sit there like stuffed dummies.
“I said ‘if you are thinking of going home you should shout out that you are going to the loo’.
“Not a bit was scripted, that was the whole point. Everybody just kicked on and got on stage and people were joining in.
“There was a great atmosphere back stage, on stage and in the audience. It was a bit of fun really and a good job well done.
“Somebody said it was like Sunday night at the Kenton Palladium.”
The show was in aid of the theatre and the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley and the audience included several young people from the centre in Greys Road as well as Sir John Madejski, Sir William and Lady McAlpine and Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak.
Chef Paul Clerehugh, from the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row, served canapés before and after the show with daughter Delilah and his staff.
Poole, a former Henley College student, performed a 15-minute set just hours after arriving back in the UK from Dubai.
She said: “I came straight from my flight which landed at 1pm and I had only two hours’ sleep but I didn’t want to miss it.
“I think everyone enjoyed it and they joined in on Remember This Way.
“I am a fan of Bonzo and the Jive Aces as I have come across them on the circuit a few times. It was a privilege to play with them.”
Luke Upton, 21, from Basingstoke, brought the crowd to its feet with his rendition of Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
The All Stars performed a range of rock ’n’ roll and jazz numbers while songwriter Barry Mason spoke about writing hits such as Delilah and sang.
The Jive Aces, a swing band, brought the show to a climax.
Wendy Bowsher, managing director of the theatre, said: “It was a great evening.
The performers made the Kenton rock. They nearly raised the roof and everybody was having such a good time.
“When they all got on stage at the end they had the whole audience jump jiving.”
Read added: “It was really great fun. I have no doubt I’ll be press-ganged into doing it again.”
The Kenton’s share of the proceeds will go towards refurbishing the theatre foyer.