Talented amateur vocalist Joanne Brookes is not just singing for her supper – she is performing to help safeguard the future of her local theatre.
Joanne is a member of The Crescent Theatre which, like all other theatres around the country, has been forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown.
But the 23-year-old Asda worker, who is due to play the starring role of Dorothy in The Crescent’s latest production, The Wizard of Oz, decided to put her mouth where her heart is.
Joanne, who studied musical theatre and drama at university, has been a member of The Crescent for just over two years, but says: “It feels like I have always been there because it is such an amazing place.
“The Crescent means so much to me personally and the thought it wouldn’t make it through the hardship that these last few months has brought is just heart-breaking.
“I really want the theatre to stay open, so I thought what can I do to help? I can’t just sit and not try at least to do something.”
Joanne performs the songs in her home in Oldbury and loads them onto her own YouTube channel each evening at 7.30pm, together with a 2.30pm Sunday ‘matinee’.
In all, she will be performing nine songs on her favourite 1950s theme, starting with Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.
Other songs in her ‘Save the Crescent’ programme, which is due to end on Saturday 25 July, include Crazy He Calls Me by Billie Holiday and Get Happy by Judy Garland.
Crescent Theatre chairman Andrew Lowrie said: “We are a non-funded registered charity so it’s a hard time for us financially because of having to close for so long.
“Joanne is a young, amateur singer, and a member of the theatre, who wants to do musical theatre professionally.
“She’s such a lovely, bubbly character, a very talented girl, who just wanted to do something to raise money for the theatre. She just decided to do this off her own bat.
Joanne, whose starring role in The Wizard of Oz was postponed from May this year to 2021, has so far raised more than £1,000 from her singing efforts. You can donate to her Save the Crescent fund by visiting her Just Giving page below
You can also watch Joanne singing Crazy He Calls Me below
By Tony Collins