Company grows from charity gigs

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Worthing is a favourite haunt for the Beyond The Barricade team who play there three times a year.

Their latest visit will be with their Christmas show at the Assembly Hall on Friday, December 16 at 7.45pm.

Company founder and performer David Fawcett is delighted with the way the year has shaped up - despite tough economic conditions.

“A few years ago, the coastal venues that would take our shows were lots more. There were dozens of them. But now you could count them on the fingers of one hand. Some of the theatres have disappeared. Some just go for the big comics.

“We have had a few surprises this year. There were a few places where we were expecting to do well and didn’t. But it tends to be down to the local economy. We always ask the box office and they say that it is affecting everyone, not just us.

“But actually overall, we are up on audiences for this year. Generally speaking, it has been a surprisingly good year. They say that even in hard times people still like to go out and enjoy themselves.”

The company has been on the touring circuit for 12 years now, but actually started 15 years ago with a number of charity concerts: “We just grew from there.”

David puts their success down to the fact that they have always differentiated themselves from other similar shows insofar as the emphasis is on the fact that the company are all ex-West End Les Misérables performers.

“Some companies say ‘West End stars’ and you know that they haven’t even been there in a taxi! But with us, it’s like a promise of quality. You know in advance the kind of quality you are going to get.”

Songs will be included from a sparkling array of shows from Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera to Mamma Mia and The Jersey Boys plus a spectacular finale from Les Misérables.

But especially for Christmas, the second half will also see a festive selection with numbers including Saviour’s Day, Santa Baby, Fairy Tale Of new York, Spaceman Came Travelling and O Holy Night.