Spinettes bring Sussex communities together with evenings of vintage song and dance

The Spinettes
The Spinettes

A toe-tapping trio, along with West End performer Matthew Goodgame, will be performing shows across West and East Sussex in a bid to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The Spinettes are a vintage-inspired trio from London’s West End performing songs from the 1940s to 1960s who decided to raise money for the charity following personal experience with dementia.

Melanie Cripps, co-founder of The Spinettes, said: “Matthew’s mum lost her battle with this terrible disease at just 60 years old.”

She continued: “We know that the power of song and dance can release memories to so many people but especially with those with dementia. In our experience, our shows bring families together along with local communities and create the most wonderful atmosphere. We now have a huge village hall following with people from four to 94-years-old.”

Concerts coming up are: November 6 –Lodsworth Village Hall; November 20 –Ashurst Village Hall; November 25 – Ashington Community Centre; November 27 – Hartfield Village Hall; December 4 – Angmering Village Hall; December 18 – King Edward Hall, Lindfield; December 23 – Boxgrove Village Hall.

Melanie added: “This show is all about bringing the community together for an evening of song and dance. Community spirit played such a huge part especially in the 1940s and 1950s, and we’ve found that this is a perfect event to recreate that atmosphere.”

For Matthew, it’s all the latest chapter in a journey that began when he won Musicality a dozen years ago: “That got me into the industry. I had trained as a primary-school teacher, and I ended up winning the competition. I was doing the sports clubs and drama clubs and all that sort of thing at school, and I used to go to dance clubs as a social thing, and friends just suggested I should enter the competition. I won, and we had the chance to perform for one night in Chicago at the Adelphi on the Strand. We performed to a full audience, and there were 4.5 million viewers for the live broadcast. It was the first one of its kind for that type of show.”

Since then, he hasn’t looked back: “After that I went back to teaching for a while, but then I decided that while I can still dance and move around I might as well try to fulfil the dream. I went on a cruise ship for seven months to get some experience, then came back and went into this full-time.”

Tori Ablard, Alzheimer’s Society regional community fundraising manager for the south-east, said: “It’s great that The Spinettes are giving their time to support Alzheimer’s Society. Dementia can happen to anyone and there is currently no cure. But with the right support, people can live well with dementia.”​

The Spinettes, who as individuals have worked on Grease, Singin’ in the Rain, Cats, Chicago, Oklahoma, Ghost, Funny Girl and Shrek, have already played in Angmering, Hartfield, Horsham, Robertsbridge and Crowborough.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children.

To book, email thespinettes@hotmail.com or call 07515552491.

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