Monday, 20 May 2024
Monday, 20 May 2024

Talkback’s Got Talent

Tony Flower writes

TALKBACK’S Got Talent seems such an obvious statement. When we work with our members on a daily basis, we all know that talent shines from each and every one of them.

On 9th April, we were privileged to attend the first Talkback’s Got Talent show. And what an amazing day it proved to be!

No one should underestimate the courage it takes to stand on stage and perform in front of peers, parents and staff. A fantastic festival of song, dance and entertainment, the show was also a testament to the dedication of our staff who put it all together.

The Theatre Group set the mood for what was to follow, with a rousing rendition of Sweet Caroline. Then an invigorating dance routine, brilliantly choreographed, set everyone’s feet a-tapping.

Throughout the day we were treated to solo performances – including the Alien song; Hot Hot Hot, complete with sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt; and a Backstreet Boys song. There were even superhero-themed moves, as Aquaman took to the stage.

Time to rein in the pace a little. Was that a tear in the eye of a seasoned staff member, during this moving interpretation of a Whitney Houston tune?

Karen came all the way from Milton Keynes to sing her tender version of Radiohead’s Creep, one of the many highlights of the day. A wonderful voice interpreting a wonderful song, this was a great achievement for Karen.

No Talkback event would be complete without one of Sue’s signing sessions, as she conducted the members in a perfect Makaton version of We Are the Champions.

Apparently, one of our members has been practising his song, Relight My Fire, in the car with our CEO on the way to Wycombe matches. Now, there’s a Carpool journey not to be missed! Thankfully, this time, he was ably accompanied by one of his peers.

Then came Talkback’s very own standup comedian! A man of many jokes, he filled the auditorium with laughter, complete with his own readymade catchphrase – ‘I’m alright, it’s the others!’

The morning concluded with the premiere of Talkback’s new community safety film on Cuckooing. Its sobering and important message is brilliantly conveyed by our member actors, Dean and Becky, assisted by a stellar supporting cast. Director, Tom, told of the lengthy process of production and his pride in the finished film.

Time for pizza and some social interaction. It really is wonderful when our members, old and new, can come together to celebrate how far they’ve come on their journey with Talkback.

Talkback’s Got Talent was also open to staff members and the afternoon commenced with the only one brave enough to give it a go. Well, who knew that David had such an amazing voice? And Bring Him Home from Les Misérables was the perfect showcase for his stunning recital. Watch out Alfie Boe!

Another great song from the Theatre Group was followed by a perfectly co-ordinated dance duet. Music is an important part of the lives of our members, as evidenced by an exciting solo performance of Reach by S Club 7. And there was no shortage of other members with the bravery to sing solo during the afternoon.

We also have an Abba tribute act among our ranks. A singalong of Waterloo wished the song a happy 50th birthday and made some of us feel very old!

No one stood in the way of our Black Belt in Karate, as she asked that we pretend she was fighting an imaginary opponent. A number of complex karate moves showed her dedication to being the best.

It was as if Elvis had been reincarnated as we were treated to a crooned duet of Love Me Tender. More dance to conclude a wonderful day, including a superb solo contemporary piece.

Each participant was presented with a well-deserved medal to celebrate their talent. Embarrassed staff accepted theirs too, even the imposter who’d contributed nothing but applause to the day, but said he’d write about afterwards.

Events like this demonstrate the amazing heights our members can reach, given the right support and a generous dose of self-confidence. All presented by our besuited and tanned CEO (a compere beyond compare), Talkback’s Got Talent truly was a day to remember.

We must do this again sometime!

With thanks to Tisha, who co-ordinated the show; our DJ Chloe; sound-tech courtesy of Dave; and to all the staff and volunteers who made it happen and supported on the day, apologies if anyone’s been missed, there was just so much going on.

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