Sunday, 26 September 2021

Christmas concert's a busy night for Purdy

Christmas concert's a busy night for Purdy

TWO of Henley’s leading singers are coming home for Christmas next month — when they are booked to perform on the same bill at the Kenton Theatre.

Purdy, aka Rebecca Poole, and Megan Henwood will both be performing live when the venue hosts its inaugural “Christmas at the Kenton” concert on Saturday, December 2.

Purdy, who will be the first performer on stage at 7.30pm, is in for a busy night — as her Pop-Up Jazz Club will be taking place in the HAODS Studio next door to the Kenton at the same time.

The club night, tickets for which have now sold out, features singer Georgina Jackson and jazz musician Steve Rubie — the owner of the 606 Club in Chelsea.

Purdy, who grew up on the Joyce Grove estate in Nettlebed, said: “I will do a few guest numbers with Georgina and then let them do their show. I’m opening the Kenton show and then straight back to the hall to introduce my guests. It’s going to be all go!”

Tickets for Purdy’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza are still available, priced from £40, and can be booked via

The Christmas at the Kenton concert takes place the day after the New Street theatre plays host to Santa and his grotto at the Henley Christmas Festival on Friday, December 1.

It will be compèred by guitarist and singer Matt Montana — a regular at the Queen Victoria pub in Market Place, where he is also due to perform tomorrow night (Saturday).

The evening will see a mix of festive favourites, classic covers and original materials from four acts with local roots and national reputations.

“Pop noir” singer Purdy has previously performed at Wembley and at the Royal Variety Performance.

Last year saw her tour the country supporting Jools Holland — including a show at the Royal Albert Hall.

Two of the standout acts from last year’s Living Advent Calendar will also be returning to Henley for the concert.

Featuring more than 30 singers, the Thames Valley Chorus is established as one of Europe’s leading male-voice a cappella groups and captivated the crowd at Henley Cricket Club last year.

Mixing jazz and blues from the Twenties and Thirties with covers from the last 50 years of popular music, Ma Bessie & her Pig Foot Band make their Kenton debut having wowed the Angel on the Bridge audience at last year’s Living Advent Calendar.

They have previously performed to great acclaim at the Reading Fringe and the Norden Farm and South Street arts centres.

Completing the bill is Henley-raised folk singer-songwriter Megan Henwood, who will be making a homecoming appearance following her UK tour to promote her third — just released — solo album, River.

Megan previously won the Radio 2 Young Folk award with her brother Joe and her mother Lucie is a regular Kenton volunteer.

Anyone unable to make the Kenton show can still catch Megan on Monday (November 27), when the last night of her tour will see her play St Pancras Old Church in Camden Town with her full band.

The show starts at 7.45pm and tickets are £14. To book, visit

Kenton programming director Tom Ryan said: “We’re delighted to have performers of such high calibre in what is the perfect venue for a cosy winter evening. The audience can expect favourites like Silent Night, Santa Baby, Fairytale of New York and lots of surprises!”

Tickets for Christmas at the Kenton are £14 with concessions £12, including a £1 theatre restoration levy, and can be booked by calling (01491) 575698 or visiting

Other festive shows lined up at the Kenton include a performance of The Nutcracker on Sunday, December 3, Christmas Classics with Blake on Saturday, December 9, and A Christmas Tale on Sunday, December 10.

This year’s Kenton Theatre pantomime, Robin Hood, opens on Friday, December 15, and runs until Thursday, December 28.

It is followed by the Henley Children’s Theatre panto, Cinderella, which runs from Saturday, December 30, to Saturday, January 6.

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