PARKINSON’S UK AND MORGAN POCHIN PRESENT: SYMFUNNY NO.2 / An Evening of Music and Comedy Raising Funds for Parkinson’s UK / ANNOUNCING: KATIE MELUA, COLLABRO AND JOSH WIDDICOMBE ... ALSO STARRING: JACK DEE AND THE I’M SORRY I HAVEN’T A CLUE TEAM

  • STARS OF MUSIC AND COMEDY UNITE ONCE MORE FOR PARKINSON’S UK
  • ONE PERSON EVERY HOUR IS DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON’S
  • ROYAL ALBERT HALL, WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL 2017

Parkinson’s UK are thrilled to announce that multimillion selling and award-winning recording artist Katie Melua will be performing alongside the world’s most successful musical theatre group Collabro and comedian Josh Widdicombe at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Parkinson’s UK presents: Symfunny No. 2 on April 19.

Katie Melua, Collabro and Josh Widdicombe are the latest acts confirmed for the second Symfunny event, that unites amazing musicians and comedians in raising funds for Parkinson’s research. Jack Dee and the I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue team will also be taking to the stage. They will all be accompanied by the specially created Symfunny Orchestra and Choir, featuring some of the best professional musicians and voices in the UK. Further acts from the worlds of comedy and music are to be announced ahead of the event.

This very special fundraising event, hosted by Parkinson’s UK, was the brainchild of conductor, composer and producer, James Morgan who was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s in 2012. James, along with his partner, fellow composer, producer and mezzo soprano Juliette Pochin, wanted to use their connections to help raise money for and awareness of this progressive condition, for which there is currently no cure.

Known as Morgan Pochin, James and Juliette’s work includes hit albums for Katherine Jenkins, Alfie Boe and Collabro, films including Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet (starring Billy Connolly and Dame Maggie Smith) and classical stage work at venues like the Royal Festival Hall. James has conducted artists from Aqua to Andrea Bocelli, and Juliettehas recorded for Sony Classical and performed with most of the UK’s leading orchestras, including three appearances at BBC Proms in the Park.

Having conducted Katie Melua in Denmark, James reached out to her to take part in Symfunny No. 2. Katie said, “Working with James is a joy and inspiration, so when he asked if I could perform at Symfunny No. 2 it was an instant ‘yes’. I’m thrilled to be a part of such a great night of entertainment and to support such a worthwhile charity.”

Vocal group Collabro said, “We are absolutely thrilled be performing at Symfunny for such a fantastic cause. We have a great relationship with Morgan Pochin, they produced our second album, ‘Act Two’, and have just completed producing our new album, ‘Home’. It’s an honour to perform at The Royal Albert Hall, it’s a beautiful venue and we are excited to be on the same bill as such phenomenal talent.”

Comedian Josh Widdicombe said, "I am delighted to be performing for such a great cause and on such an amazing bill. I just hope my set isn't too similar to what Katie Melua and Collabro are planning."

Symfunny made its debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014 when it was hosted by Al Murray and saw music and comedy stars including Jason Manford, Alfie Boe and Rebecca Ferguson come together to give performances on the night.

For Symfunny No. 2, James and Juliette will be helped in curating the event by actress, author and Parkinson’s UK President Jane Asher, as well as Paul Mayhew-Archer, best known for his work with Mrs Brown’s Boys and the Vicar of Dibley. Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011 and recently wrote and presented Parkinson’s: The Funny Side for the BBC for which he won the Grierson Trust's 'Best Documentary Presenter' award.

Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK said, “We are delighted to be able to announce some fantastic names for what we know will be a memorable evening of entertainment – and there will be more special guests to add to the excitement, so watch this space. Living with Parkinson’s can be immensely challenging, especially for those, like James, who are diagnosed at an early age. Symfunny No. 2 will help to fund much needed research into new and better treatments, so we are looking forward to raising the roof at the Royal Albert Hall and raising lots of money on the night.”

 

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