New Year pa­rade’s a real show­stop­per

Uxbridge Gazette - - NEWS -

HILLING­DON per­form­ers were singing and danc­ing in the rain dur­ing the movi­ethemed Lon­don New Year’s Day Pa­rade 2017.

The bor­ough fin­ished fifth out of 17 Lon­don bor­oughs in the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion, scoop­ing £6,000 for the Mayor’s Char­ity Ap­peal.

Despite it rain­ing on their pa­rade, the 45-strong cast of per­form­ers aged from six to 50 from JAM2000 Per­form­ing Arts, in Ruis­lip Manor, did not al­low the con­di­tions to dampen their spir­its as they sang, danced, waved and smiled for two hours from Green Park to Par­lia­ment Square, with crowds of more than 500,000 cheer­ing them along the route.

The per­form­ers were dressed as char­ac­ters from some of the big­gest and best-known Hollywood clas­sics, with the ac­tual Bat­mo­bile that was driven by Michael Keaton in the 1989 film Bat­man pro­vid­ing a spectacular cen­tre­piece to Hilling­don’s en­try.

Called ‘Hilling­don Boule­vard’, the bor­ough’s en­try in­cluded char­ac­ters Bat­man, Robin, Mr Freeze, Pen­guin, Joker and Cat­woman.

A group of girls played Key­stone Cops while older girls por­tray­ing the likes of Gin­ger Rogers and Hollywood show­girls.

There were also four char­ac­ters from The Wizard of Oz – Dorothy (and Toto), Tin Man, Scare­crow and Lion.

Lit­tle or­phan Annie made an ap­pear­ance, as did The Blues Broth­ers to­gether with char­ac­ters from Chicago.

Mu­sic from the 1972 clas­sic movie Cabaret also ac­com­pa­nied Hilling­don’s ac­tion-packed end of pa­rade show­piece, chore­ographed and di­rected by JAM2000 di­rec­tor, Judy McPhee.

The JAM2000 per­form­ers were among more than 10,000 par­tic­i­pants from the USA, UK, Europe and be­yond, watched by a TV au­di­ence of more than 300 mil­lion across the world.

Hilling­don’s en­try was a real fam­ily af­fair, with Judy’s hus­band, Gor­don McPhee, hav­ing de­signed and hand-built Hilling­don’s film-themed float from the garage of their home in Ruis­lip.

The cos­tumes were in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed and hand-sewn by a tal­ented team of dress­mak­ers from in and around the Ruis­lip area.

It was the fifth time JAM2000 has rep­re­sented Hilling­don in the Pa­rade’s Best Lon­don Bor­ough Com­pe­ti­tion.

Al­though they were un­able to re­tain their 2016 win­ners’ ti­tle, Judy was full of praise for her per­form­ers, many of whom were un­der 10 years of age and did not com­plain once about be­ing wet and cold.

Judy said: “We may not have come first and we won’t be bring­ing the win­ners’ tro­phy back to Hilling­don this year, but as far as I am con­cerned we were def­i­nite win­ners. I couldn’t be more proud of my team for per­form­ing so bril­liantly for such a long time in very dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and win­ning £6,000 for lo­cal char­i­ties.”

Hilling­don Mayor John Hens­ley said: “I would like to thank the JAM2000 Army that did so well in the ap­palling weather con­di­tions, bear­ing in mind many of them were of such a young age. They are a credit to Judy and Hilling­don. I am so glad JAM2000 were there to rep­re­sent Hilling­don.”

Even be­fore the Pa­rade started, JAM2000 had raised £5,000 in spon­sor­ship do­na­tions from a num­ber of com­pa­nies. Other firms con­trib­uted by pro­vid­ing build­ing ma­te­ri­als for the float, trans­porta­tion and meet­ing the hire costs of the Bat­mo­bile from the Lon­don Mo­tor Mu­seum.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.